Former NBA coach comes back home to give back to Fairbanks

FAIRBANKS-Last night at Boileau Hall one of the Interior's own came back to give back to the local sports community. Mike Dunlap ran a series of player and coaches clinics this week at Boileau Hall.

Dunlap is a Malemute. Class of 1976. He's the first Alaskan to be a head coach in a professional league after his stint with the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats last year.

Dunlap has been coaching for over 30 years, won two division two national titles with Denver Metro State, and was an assistant at St. John's.

Monroe head basketball coach and atheltics director, Frank Ostanik, had his company, the Alaska Basketball Academy, conduct the clinics.

Dunlap has done clinics like these all over including Italy and China but he says there's nothing like running a camp back home in the Interior to help improve players and coaches. Dunlap wanted the participants in the camp to know that it's about what you can achieve no matter where you are.

"If they have a dream from a small community like Fairbanks that they can do marvelous things in the world," Dunlap said. "Don't think that just because from the northern most reaches of the world that their dream stops once they graduate here. They should go on and do significant things either in Alaska or in the lower 48.

"It was a really good learning experience. It showed us like-it showed me different ways of coaching and it was a lot of fun. A really good learning experience for him to come here and work with coach Dunlap," Monroe forward Edwin Erickson said.

"I had a great teachers and coaches in Fairbanks and so paying forward ijust iswhat we should do. While I feel good about it I'd feel embarrassed if I didn't come back," Dunlap said.