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Former Chugiak star Mitchell headed for Western Washington powerhouse

After two seasons in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges, Colby Mitchell of Chugiak will take a step up to play basketball in the Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference that includes the University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks. He will play for a Western Washington team that has established itself as the best NCAA Division II team on the West Coast.

The 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward has signed his letter of intent and will have two seasons of eligibility.

Mitchell, of Chugiak High fame, played his first two seasons of college basketball for Mount Hood Community College in Oregon. Last year he was team captain.

“He brings a lot of toughness and athleticism to our program,” head coach Tony Dominguez told the school’s website. “He also has some intangibles that we feel our team was needing moving forward.”

As a sophomore he led the team in points [13.6] and rebounds [7.3] per game. He shot 51 percent from the field.

Western Washington, the 2012 national champion, graduated six of its top eight players from a 31-3 team that reached the Final Four.

Mitchell is a veteran of the Spring Alaska Exposure Senior Trip, which tours Northwest community colleges with travel coach Jim Young of Anchorage.

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 alaskasportshall@yahoo.com.