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Community comes together for high school basketball

By John Thain 8:42 PM March 19, 2014

Shaktoolik residents cheer on team in Anchorage and back home

ANCHORAGE – For the Western Alaska community of Shaktoolik, March is all about high school basketball.

Wednesday, the Shaktoolik Wolverines faced the Seldovia Sea Otters, competing for third place in the 1A division of the ASAA state basketball championship at the Sullivan Arena. At least 20 people from the village of around 250 traveled to Anchorage for the game, and nearly everyone else gathered in the school’s newly remodeled gym to watch the action online and cheer on the home team from afar.

It wouldn’t have been possible a year ago.

Shaktoolik’s school — including the gym — underwent renovations for nearly two years. Some classes were displaced to other buildings, educators said, and without a gym the young athletes were left playing in the cold.

“This is the first year they have a gym, and look at how far they came,” said Helen Jackson, who traveled to Anchorage to cheer on her two grandsons. “We’re real proud of them.”

Although the team didn’t take home the title this year, they’ll be welcomed back to Shaktoolik by enthusiastic fans.

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