A local high school basketball player has received one of the state's top sports honors. The Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches - or AABC - recently named Ben Enlow as the best player among the 20 teams in Unalaska's division.
Raider coach Kent Russell explained via phone from Anchorage Thursday morning how Enlow was selected as this year's MGJ Building Group/AABC 2A Boys Player of the Year.
"All the coaches from around the state submit ballots and they rank the players, and the player that gets the most votes ends up being the player of the year. And this year Ben ended up being that player," Russell said. "So it's a pretty big honor because that shows the respect from coaches around the state on the work and effort Ben has put into this team and his basketball development and his body development and all that."
Russell says Ben Enlow is literally a team player.
"This year he has stepped away from being the leading scorer or having some of the offense revolve around him to more of a player that will do whatever we need him to do to win," Russell said. "It allowed some of the other player scoring opportunities and Ben does some of those rolls that not a lot of people see but are required in order to be successful as a team.
In a triumph for Unalaska, AABC also selected Kent Russell as coach of the year. The Raiders finished the regular season with a 13-1 record. The only game the Raiders lost was to Bethel.
Enlow's twin brother Ross was also honored by the AABC. Both Enlow boys also succeed academically - Ross and Ben maintain 4.0 and 3.8 grade point averages, respectively.
On Thursday the team was in Alaska's biggest city for the championships. Russell said the boys spent the morning with their families or shopping at sporting good stores. Then the team will spend a few hours studying before heading off to watch other teams play their games.
The Unalaska boys Raiders basketball team plays its first state championship gameThursday night, squaring off against the Wrangell Wolves. The game starts at 9 p.m.and will be broadcast live on KUCB radio, 89.7 on your FM dial.