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Hoop dreams, Point Hope style

Alaska Dispatch

People across Alaska may have thought The New York Times tossed up an airball recently with a seemingly critical report of Barrow's first day of fall whaling this season. But the latest report in the paper's series on Alaska's Arctic -- on the burning passion for high school basketball in Point Hope -- may redeem the paper a little in their eyes.

People, including North Slope Borough Mayor Edward Itta, thought the series' first article was mistakenly critical of fall whalers for using modern technology. It may relieve them that in the latest Times filing, there's not even an implication that Point Hope's love of basketball should be considered any less valid because its players don't dribble inflated walrus stomachs.

Point Hope's Tikigaq School boys team last season three-peated as Alaska State 2A champions, and they're setting their sights on a fourth straight title, despite the graduation of a key player, Adam Sage, a two-time 2A player of the year.

The girls team wants to bring home a trophy too: “I don’t care how hard I have to work,” said Caroline Long, a senior. “The girls are going to get a championship this year.”

Read much more, here.