Alaska: Unique Sports, Current and Former Stars


Sarah Palin won a state basketball title, Mary Kakoona won an Eskimo-Indian Olympics event by skinning a seal in less than 2 ½ minutes, and Reggie Tougue intercepted 11 passes and ran for 932 yards at Lathrop High School before playing for Oregon State and the Oakland Raiders.

Alaska remains the only state without a D1 basketball team or a college football team.

Hockey player Colton Parayko of the University of Alaska hockey team ranks as the top returning college player in any of the four traditional US sports.

The Value Add Sports calculations and feedback from sports writers and other experts in the state resulted in the rankings here.

Seawolf fans are asking for a football team (see their site here). Football and basketball players who started at Alaska highs schools are included on the list below. Seawolves players are the only D2 players in the basketball google sheet and

Derrick Wilson was a star football and basketball player in high school before choosing Marquette basketball over Syracuse football. Autumn Ridley was the most dominant athlete at the Eskimo-Indian Games, including a record high kick in a competition that includes holding one foot with the opposite hand and jumping and kicking a small ball eight feet off the ground—as shown by PBS.

Liberal groups attack seal skinning, but this event is one of several that pull youths from around the state to focus on skills that have been needed for survival in the Alaskan climate. The reason Kakoona’s first-place finish is impresses is that she did it in less than 2 ½ minutes—and no other woman did it in less than five minutes.

The greatest state athletic event is the dog race across the state that is more than twice as big as Texas, and Lance Mackey is the greatest athlete ever from the state according to the December 23, 2012, Bleacher Report.

  1. Colton Parayko, University of Alaska, Hockey
  2. Autumn Ridley, Anchorage, Eskimo-Indian Olympics
  3. Mario Chalmers, Went onto Kansas and Miami Heat, Basketball, point guard
  4. Nick Hansen, Unalakleet, Eskimo-Indian Olympics, scissor broad jump and others
  5. Mary Kakoona, Shishmaref, Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Seal Skinning
  6. Reggie Tongue, went onto Oregon State and Raiders, (ex-football), Dback
  7. Chris Kuper, (ex-football), Foot, OLine
  8. Sarah Palin, prep basketball champion, hunter and Governor
  9. Erica Meckel, Fairbanks, Eskimo-Indian Olympics, scissor broad jump, one-leg high kick and others
  10. Derrick Wilson, ex-football and went onto Marquette Basketball, RB-PG
  11. Kyle Worl, Anchorage, Eskimo-Indian Olympics, kneel jump and others
  12. Casey Ferguson, Anchorage, Eskimo-Indian Olympics, high kick and others
  13. Christian Warrior, Wasilla, Eskimo-Indian Olympics, stick pull and others
  14. Brian McGill, Alaska Anchorage (D2), Basket, SG
  15. Zachary Bowman, (ex-football), Dback
  16. Dom Hunter, Alaska Anchorage (D2), Basket, PG
  17. Corey Macon, (ex-football), Dback
  18. Kalidou Diouf, Alaska Anchorage (D2), Basket, C
  19. Christian Leckband, Alaska Anchorage (D2), Basket, PF
  20. Wade Bowen, Alaska Seawolves, ex-Foot, OLine


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