Doc Larson Roundball Classic turns 9, expands
The Doc Larson Roundball Classic -- an annual basketball tournament which draws eight boys' teams and four girls' teams, not all of them from Alaska -- was held this week at Wasilla High School.
Stephenson High School made the trip from Stone Mountain, Ga. near Atlanta, marking the Jaguars' first time in the state.
"It feels good, it's a great experience to be out here with my family and my teammates," said Stephenson forward Anthony Newsom.
Wasilla High boys' head coach Ryan Engebretsen helped create the tournament nine years ago.
"We traveled two or three times out of state a year, and the goal was, 'Let's bring some of those teams we want to play, and we travel to compete against, to Alaska,'" Engebretsen said.
The Classic is fun and entertaining, but it also comes with a hefty price tag for its hosts -- between $15,000 and $20,000 a year.
"We feed the out-of-state teams, we try to accommodate the Alaska teams as much as we can possibly, to help them come back and want to be a big part of things, to play great competition," Engebretsen said.
The boys' side of the tournament features eight teams, six from Alaska. Organizers would like to see that change.
"Ideally, if we can find some more sponsorships and everything else, we'd love four Alaskan teams, four out-of-state teams in the first round," Engebretsen said.
Right now though, Engebretsen and other organizers just want to focus on this year's event.
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