With basketball taking center stage this week with six days of state tournament action at Sullivan Arena, it's appropriate that Wednesday's induction ceremony for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame will put the spotlight on the spot.
Both of this year's inductees are being honored for their basketball prowess -- Mario Chalmers of Anchorage, a two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat, and Jeannie Hebert-Truax, a star player in high school and college who went on to become one of the state's most successful high school coaches.
Also being inducted:
• UAA's 1988 stunning men's basketball victory over a Michigan team that was ranked second in the nation at the time and went on to win the NCAA title that season.
• The Yukon Quest in the event category.
The ceremony is at 7:30 at the Anchorage Museum. It's free and open to the public, but seating will be limited.
Chalmers, a Bartlett High graduate, was an Alaska Player of the Year for the Golden Bears before going to Kansas, where he earned fame for the 3-point shot that helped the Jayhawks beat Memphis in the NCAA Tournament. He's the starting point guard for the two-time champion Heat.
Hebert-Truax starred in high school for two Fairbanks schools, North Pole and Monroe. She became one of the first Alaskans to make it big at the Division I level, becoming a record-setting point guard at the University of Miami.
She coached the Wasilla Warriors to three straight state championships from 2011-13.
The ceremony will also include the presentation of four Director's Awards.
Three athletes will be awarded the Pride of Alaska Award, for consistent excellence in competition. Kikkan Randall, who recently made her fourth straight Olympic appearance and also clinched her third straight World Cup sprint title, is the women's winner. The men's award will be shared by Trevor Dunbar, who last year became the first Alaskans to break the four-minute mark in the mile, and Eric Strabel, who last year broke the long-standing, revered men's record at Mount Marathon.
The Joe Floyd Award will go to Dick Mize, an Anchorage man who helped develop cross-country skiing in Alaska. The Trajan Langdon Award will go to Marko Cheseto, an Anchorage double-amputee runner.
Anchorage Daily News