FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Two Lathrop High School Basketball Players signed their national letters of intent today to take their game to the college level, and one of them will be staying close to home.
Olivia Kraska will be playing for the Alaska Nanooks next year. Kraska was the only senior on the Lathrop Malemutes last season, who finished second in the Mid Alaska Conference. Kraska will now be making a short trip up the hill for her College career, joining the Alaska Nanooks. The Nooks just finished their first season under head coach Kerri Nakamoto. This is the first local signing under Nakamoto and assistant coach Jessie Craig. We talked to Kraska about her decision to stay close to home.
"I'm really excited you know? I think every kid wants to leave Alaska to go play out of state or just go somewhere to experience something different. I had the same mindset at the beginning of the year but I went to go visit UAF and I just kind of fell in love with it. I love the girls, the coaches are super nice, we have major plans next year in the program. I think that this is definitely the best choice for me. I want to play at UAF. That's why I'm signing here today. I'm really excited for home games, see all my coaches, stay in town and stay in touch with my friends. I'm really excited to know that the coaches are already expecting a lot of me," said Kraska.
The other signing came from the boy's basketball team.
Senior Kyler Hall will be heading to the University of Wisconsin Manitowoc.
Hall, a 6'3" 200 pound forward, was a 40% shooter in his career with the Malemutes, earning 8 points per game while being a key defensive force in the process.
He will now be joining the UW-Manitowoc Blue Devils, who are members of the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference.
We caught up with Kyler after his signing about why he chose to join the Blue Devils.
"I'm very excited we actually did a tour about three weeks ago and the town is such a nice small town, only about 30 minutes away from Green Bay and about an hour and a half from Milwaukee. So I'm very excited to go down there and experience it back down in the Lower 48. It's just going to be nice to go down there and play Basketball. It's going to be hard to be away from my family but I'm glad that I've had that experience of having to move around so that it's not completely new. If I had a home town of 18 years it would be a lot harder for me to move," said Hall.