UAF men’s and women’s 2021 basketball schedules unveiled

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 6:59 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The University of Alaska Fairbanks was one of four schools that opted-in to the upcoming college basketball seasons and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference has released a condensed, 2021 schedule.

Along with UAF, Saint Martin’s, Northwest Nazarene and Seattle Pacific elected to play the men’s and women’s basketball seasons, while the University of Alaska Anchorage, Central Washington, Montana State Billings, Simon Fraser, Western Oregon and Western Washington decided to opt-out, creating a four-team GNAC season.

Tip-off is set for January 15, featuring a 12-game, eight-week season with a bye week scheduled at the midway point, where make up games can be played if necessary.

The men’s and women’s seasons will mirror each other, with two competing schools playing each other on the same dates at opposite locations. Schools will play consecutive games on Fridays and Saturdays against the same opponent.

“I know our players really wanted to at least have a chance, just the fact that the Chancellor [Dan White] opted-in and gave us an opportunity [meant a lot].” said UAF women’s basketball head coach Kerri Nakamoto. “Seeing a schedule actually come to fruition was a really big deal for everybody.”

As approved by the GNAC CEO Board, no fans will be allowed in attendance at any contests this season, including UAF’s games at the Patty Center. In addition, they announced Tuesday there will be no conference championships.

“With health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the few amount of teams electing to play a conference season, the 2021 GNAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships have been canceled. The tournament was scheduled for March 4-6 at Marcus Pavilion on the campus of Saint Martin’s University.” the GNAC stated in a press release.

The UAF women’s roster boasts an eye-popping eight Alaskans from six different communities and state representation was important to Nakamoto when she took over the program.

“That was one of my biggest priorities when I came to UAF. I think there is a lot of talent in the state that we may have not been getting previously, so it is really been nice for them,” Nakamoto said. “But then also, I think for our people that aren’t from Alaska, to learn about different parts of Alaska and the culture and stuff, so I think it has been a growing process for everybody.”

Nanooks from Alaska on the women’s team include Zosha Krupa (Sitka), Caitlin Conwell (Kotzebue), Caitlin Pusich (Juneau), Olivia Kraska (Fairbanks), Alanna Conwell (Kotzebue), Ellen Silva (Fairbanks), Pearle Green (Galena) and Destiny Reimers (Anchorage).

The men’s team will be returning the conference’s Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year in Shadeed Shabazz. No UAF basketball player, men’s or women’s, will lose a year of eligibility after this season.

2021 UAF Men’s Basketball Schedule

Jan. 15Seattle PacificSeattle, WA
Jan. 16Seattle PacificSeattle, WA
Jan. 22Northwest NazareneFairbanks, AK
Jan. 23Northwest NazareneFairbanks, AK
Jan. 29Saint Martin’sLacey, WA
Jan. 30Saint Martin’sLacey, WA
Feb. 12Northwest NazareneNampa, ID
Feb. 13Northwest NazareneNampa, ID
Feb. 19Seattle PacificFairbanks, AK
Feb. 20Seattle PacificFairbanks, AK
Feb. 26Saint Martin’sFairbanks, AK
Feb. 27Saint Martin’sFairbanks, AK

2021 UAF Women’s Basketball Schedule

Jan. 15Seattle PacificFairbanks, AK
Jan. 16Seattle PacificFairbanks, AK
Jan. 22Northwest NazareneNampa, ID
Jan. 23Northwest NazareneNampa, ID
Jan. 29Saint Martin’sFairbanks, AK
Jan. 30Saint Martin’sFairbanks, AK
Feb. 12Northwest NazareneFairbanks, AK
Feb. 13Northwest NazareneFairbanks, AK
Feb. 19Seattle PacificSeattle, WA
Feb. 20Seattle PacificSeattle, WA
Feb. 26Saint Martin’sLacy, WA
Feb. 27Saint Martin’sLacy, WA

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