Nanook Basketball Prepares for New Season

Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 3:42 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -The Men’s Basketball team is looking to change this season after coming off an 11-15 record last year. Coach Sparling, deciding to bring players in from Junior Colleges, ups the veteran presence and brings another dimension to the teams playing style.

“It’s good because we can play multiple positions, and you know I like how our fours and fives are interchangeable, and one through three is pretty much interchangeable. We can bring the ball up, you know guys, who can get to the rim. We saw by the dunk contest that we got some athleticism,” said Greg Sparling, UAFs Men’s Head Basketball Coach.

The new court also helps the team play, with worry of potential injuries being lowered, and also brings in some excitement for the new season.

“It’s been really good for morale, just in general. You know just coming in, and you know you have a high-level court, you know a high-level stadium somewhat. It’s really good for our guys, we have two shooting machines as well, thanks to our donors and stuff. But we’re really happy and blessed. It’s beautiful and we get to see something, be the first team to be on this court too. So it’s like really exciting for us,” said Abdul Mohamed, UAF Men’s Basketball player.

The change is being led by players like Mohamed, who was named to the preseason All-GNAC team, and that recognition comes from the work the players are putting in when no one else is watching.

“We got a lot of guys to put extra time in, like you said earlier, we have two shooting machines. I don’t think too many Division Two programs have two shooting machines, so we can go on both sides and also, and then we have to swipe access. Our guys can come up and we notice our guys definitely taking advantage of that,” said Sparling.

The men’s basketball team begins their season during the GNAC/PacWest Challenge sponsored by Mt. McKinley Bank. Their first match is against the Hawaii Pacific Sharks, with a 7 P.M. tip off on Friday, November 10th. Their second game of the challenge is against the Chaminade Silverswords, for a 3 P.M. tip off on Saturday, November 11th.