Three bears invited to all-star hoops


Three Haines High School athletes participated in Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches all-star games.

Seniors Amey Messerschmidt, Hannah Wing and Tyler Swinton were among about 50 students from across the state invited to compete, split into two teams for boys and two teams for girls.

The squads played on April 12 in Soldotna and April 14 in Anchorage. Wing was named most valuable player of the Soldotna game.

“All the girls, before we started, they seemed super nervous and everyone was just worried about it, and I guess I kind of went into it knowing that there was nothing I could lose,” Wing said.

She said there was sparse attendance in Soldotna, but the gym was full at Anchorage’s Grace Christian High School. Other Southeast all-stars included Melissa Castle of Craig and Tina Esbenshade of Yakutat.

“Our coaches were cool, and they were having fun, just as much as we were,” Messerschmidt said. “It wasn’t like a strict, conference game.”

Messerschmidt and Wing were on the same team, and posted a 1-1 record.

“We were all there because we loved basketball, and it was fun to be with girls who have the same kind of skill level, and we all had the same understanding of the game,” Messerschmidt said.

The Haines girls also attended the Alaska Exposure Basketball Camp in Anchorage – which Glacier Bear graduate Abby Jones credited last year with helping her land a spot on the Peninsula College basketball team – before their second all-star game.

“By the time we got to the game, we were so tired, it was crazy,” Wing said.

She will attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks and start on her prerequisites for nursing. Wing said she hasn’t decided whether to try out for the basketball team at UAF, but she is leaning toward not competing for the Nanooks.

“I see that it’s a whole ’nother level, and while I think I would be able to handle the commitment, it’s not something I really want to pursue,” Wing said.

Messerschmidt will study psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage and said she’ll play intramural basketball to “just enjoy it for the game.” Her twin sister, Ashley, also is set to attend UAA.

Swinton has committed to continue his basketball career at UAA.


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