Soldotna’s own Jersey Truesdell stays in state to play for UAF

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 7:41 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Nanooks men’s basketball roster has some talent across the board. In their 2020 recruiting class, they added Jersey Truesdell, a player who excelled on the basketball court and the football field for Soldotna High School.

Truesdell is a 6-foot freshman guard that brings championship experience to the ‘Nooks. He won three Division II state championships with the Soldotna Stars football program, while leading the basketball team to a state tournament appearance in 2019. Then it came for the star athlete to choose between football and basketball. Truesdell made his decision based off what he felt in the offseason.

“I just figured out that I liked the grind for basketball more,” said Truesdell. “I like going to the gym at eight at night at night, you know two in the morning even. Going into the gym and shoot with buddies and get a thousand shots up. I just enjoy that more and I just enjoy that day-to-day grind of basketball.”

Truesdell announced his commitment to the University of Alaska Fairbanks in March. According to the Soldotna Stars, Truesdell finished his high school career with 1,189 points, 209 made 3-pointers and 259 assists. Truesdell now gets to reconnect with players like Marcus Lee, who he has faced over the years in Alaska High School basketball. He says he is connecting with Markel Banks and Koby Huerta, a pair of seniors on the roster.

“Someone I can be myself around is Markel Banks. He’s a pretty easy going guy. Easy to connect with, fun to play with on the court,” said Truesdell about Banks and Huerta. “Another guy I would like to shoutout is Koby Huerta. One of the more selfless players on the team so being able to pick his mind every day has been cool.”

Truesdell now suits up for the Blue and Gold under Head Coach Greg Sparling and Assistant Coach Jesse Brown. Truesdell says he is confident in his play and that he can fit in with a roster full of talent, with players like Shadeed Shabazz.

“I think that my ability to compliment every type of skill set, I think will be cool,” said Truesdell. “I think that I can shoot the ball well. I can play with the ball in [the] pick and roll. I think that my skill set, it’s going to transition from high school to college.”

The Nanooks open their 2021 Great Northwest Athletic Conference season on January 15 when they go on the road to take on the Seattle Pacific Falcons for a two-game series.

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