Boys' Basketball Preview: Returning Raiders Anchor Varsity Team

Friday, January 09 2015

Now that winter’s here, basketball season is heating up in Southwest Alaska. KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal sat down with one of the head coaches for the Unalaska Raiders to talk about tonight’s home games and how the boys’ varsity squad is coming together -- on and off the court.

Lauren Rosenthal: I understand we were supposed to have our first games of the season against Cordova, but those plans have changed a bit? 

Kent Russell: Due to some scheduling conflicts, Cordova couldn't make it out. We're hoping to have them out in February.

LR: We will have basketball at home here tonight. What's the plan for that?

KR: At around 4 o'clock, the JV boys will have an intersquad scrimmage, and then when that finishes up the varsity boys will scrimmage. And then the girls are planning to do some sort of scrimmage, community-intersquad type of thing.

LR: You have a pretty big boys' program for the 2015 season. What does that look like?

KR: We had about 30 boys out this year, so we have a lot of depth. We have a lot of boys coming back with experience, and I'm starting to see some leaders emerge out of this group, which is really nice.

LR: Yeah, we have the Enlow twins [Ben and Ross] returning with some varsity experience under their belt. And you have a couple of other players who've been on your varsity squad before?

KR: Yeah, JR Carpentero, Bryan Earnshaw, Michael Remolino have all started in games for me before, and Vincent Naanos and Justice Krukoff have played pretty considerable time in the past, so I'm looking to see a lot out of those guys and some others. ... Some of them are really physical, and some of them, their skills are really high, so it's just interesting to see how they blend together.

LR: And who might some of the tough contenders be in the Southwest 2A region this year?

KR: Dillingham and Bristol Bay are always teams you have to worry about. ... It's always a battle between us and those two teams, and you never know about Togiak -- they could put five guys on the court that we've never seen before and be tough.

LR: Well, there's one thing that hasn't escaped your notice, and I understand that's the fact that some of the boys on your team are growing mullets? 

KR: Yeah, some of the boys decided to have mullets this year, I don't know why. They tried to get me to grow one, but since I'm bald it doesn't really work out. So they want me to grow a beard. ... I'm trying. It's the first time ever, so we'll see how it goes.

LR: Is this a team bonding exercise?

KR: Yeah, and try to build the chemistry a little bit. It's pretty funny. 

You can catch the scrimmages starting at 4 p.m. Friday in the high school gym.

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