Alaska Flight basketball team practicing for Las Vegas Tournaments

FAIRBANKS, AK-Today Joe T Court was the site for a team coming together to improve themselves and hopefully get recognized for it. The Alaska Flight basketball team comprised of some of the best high school basketball players in the state under 17 years of age had practice early this afternoon. There are two teams a 17 an under squad and a 16 and under team.

They have 8 days of two a day practices as they prepare for a trip to Las Vegas for two tournaments. The players will be in the Las Vegas Live tournament on July 17-21 and the Las Vegas Classic the 24-28. They will play some of the best players in country in front of college coaches and scouts.

There is a good mix of local and state talent. Kyle Carlson is one three Malemutes, as well Christian Nickerson, Jalon McCallaugh and Conor O'Kelly-Ault of the Rams coming off their state championship. The athletic Tyrus Morgan represents the Klawock Chieftans. Jhayde Zamura and Theo Oghide who is from London play for West High School.

For these players who are representing the various regions of the 49th state for the Alaska Flight it's all about getting exposure and improving their overall games.

"We have a pretty good coach that teaches us a lot of stuff about the right drills, what we should do, on our own and as a team as well," Oghide said. "So I think overall my game improved over the summer and hopefully go on forward."
 
Nickerson not only thinks that this team has provided everybody an opportunity to bond but to make some noise in a big national tournament and bring eyes to Alaska's best.

"I'm looking forward to just going down to the tournament and hopefully winning games and having college coaches see everybody and hopefully everybody getting the chance to go play for a college that they want to. So, that's what I'm most looking forward to," Nickerson said.

Keenan Hollister is aiming to get the players exposed but better them as individuals.

"We're trying to do a kind of leadership training here with these guys, so they all do this stuff here and then go be leaders on their high school teams," Hollister said. "Typically when we do this we see these guys at the state tournament next year being the leaders of their high school teams or being captains of their high school teams."