Alaska basketball player of the year headed to San Diego

Van Williams | Alaska Sports Hall of FameAlaska Sports Hall of Fame

Speedy guard Adam Klie, Alaska's high school basketball player of the year, is headed for UC San Diego.

The 6-foot-3 Service High School star signed his letter of intent with the NCAA D2 Tritons of the California Collegiate Athletic Association. “I signed at UC San Diego mostly because they have the right balance to fit my academic and athletic needs,” he said.

Klie is basically ambidextrous with a basketball. He can dribble with both hands and he can finish shots around the basket with either hand.

“He is hands down the best player in the state in every aspect of the game,” Wasilla coach Ryan Engebretsen said.

Klie averaged 19 points and nine rebounds as a senior, leading his team to a 29-3 record and a second-place finish at the state tournament. He picked UC San Diego over a handful of other schools, most notably Colorado School of Mines. He has a 4.3 GPA.

“I feel relieved and prepared to take the next step in my life,” Klie said. “I can’t tell you how nice it is to feel like I am moving forward instead of standing in one place. The sense of direction is empowering and I look forward to improving my game in the summer, hopefully to make an impact my freshman season.”

UC San Diego went 11-15 last season, losing in the conference semifinals in triple overtime.

Klie is the third prominent Alaska high school basketball player to sign with a college this spring, joining Anchorage guard Jalil Abdul-Bassit (University of Oregon) and Anchorage forward Ryden Hines (Iona College). Look for Anchorage’s Colter Lasher to be next.

Van Williams, a 20-year local sports writer and the former sports editor of the Anchorage Daily News, writes about the athletic exploits of Alaskans for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. He can be reached at