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Maryland team makes trek to Wasilla

By KTVA Sports 1:43 PM January 3, 2014

Archbishop Spalding here to enjoy tournament and Alaska


ANCHORAGE – When Derrick Lewis was invited by Wasilla Head Coach Ryan Engebretsen to come play in the fifth annual Doc Larson Roundball Classic, he saw it as a perfect chance to make a return to the Last Frontier with his team.

Lewis played in the 1984 Great Alaska Shootout on a University of Maryland team opposite Danny Manning and Kansas. Now, Lewis is the head boy’s basketball coach at Archbishop Spalding High School located in Severn, Md., just outside of Baltimore.

“They’ll go to California, they’ll go to Florida, they’ll go to New York,” Lewis said. “I wanted them to go somewhere where they’d experience a different culture.”

Engebretsen said each team is assigned a sponsor and while they’re here almost all of their expenses are paid. The main sponsor of the tournament, Doc Larson, even invited the Archbishop Spalding team to his house for breakfast and for a fun day in his backyard, where there was a zip line and a climbing wall.

“Every year my wife and I pick whatever is the biggest team and have them over for breakfast,” Larson said. “We serve them usually some Alaskan food, some moose or caribou or whatever we have in the freezer.”

On the first day of the round-robin tournament, Archbishop Spalding played East Anchorage. After going up 10 points in the first minute and a half, the Cavaliers went into halftime up 15 and ended up beating the Thunderbirds 71-44.

“The competition we play out of state just helps us get better,” said junior Thunderbird Desmond Johnson. “They’re big, they’re fast, I think the first half really killed us.”

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