Former West Valley star returns to Fairbanks to join UAF women’s basketball

Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 5:50 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Ellen Silva is back in Fairbanks and has officially joined the Alaska Nanooks Women’s Basketball Program. Silva previously played for the Anchorage Seawolves last season and for West Valley here in Fairbanks during her high school career.

“It’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up," said Silva. "I was so excited that they were willing to have me on the team and I just feel really grateful.”

UAF's Ellen Silva during an interview with KTVF.
UAF's Ellen Silva during an interview with KTVF.(Aaron Walling/KTVF)

Silva spent her prime high school years playing for the West Valley Wolfpack as an important cog in Milo Griffin’s post offense. Silva also reconnects with her former head coach, Jessie Craig, who is now the assistant coach with UAF.

“We picked up right where we left off so it was very nice,” said Silva about Coach Craig. "It feels like I’m back in high school but this is a step up and I’m very excited to be learning under her and Coach K.”

Silva will be joining a front court that includes her former in-town rival Olivia Kraska who played at Lathrop High School. Silva’s arrival could help the Nanooks defense and rebounding, as Alaska posted a -5.4 rebounding margin and they gave up 77.1 points per game during the 2019-2020 season. Silva hopes to be able to play in front of fans when the season is slated to start in January.

“I’m just looking forward to hopefully having fans and hopefully being able to play in front of them and represent Fairbanks well.” said Silva.

The redshirt freshman gets ready to make her college debut when the Great Northwest Athletic Conference releases the schedule which is set to start in January.

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