Remember the great Muff Butler? He was king of Alaska hoops back in the day, a legend of Anchorage pickup basketball who went on to play Division I basketball at the University of New Orleans. His kid's got game too.
Jalil Abdul-Bassit of Anchorage is headed to the University of Oregon after making an oral commitment to Ducks coach Dana Altman and the Pac-12 title contenders. Abdul-Bassit will have two years of eligibility beginning with the 2013-14 season. Oregon is currently 18-4 and ranked No. 19 in the country.
The 6-foot-4 swingman is a sophomore starter at North Idaho College, a nationally ranked junior college where he is averaging 12.8 points and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 47 percent from the floor and 82 percent from the free-throw line. Abdul-Bassit, who played his high school basketball at West High, has been especially explosive of late, scoring 26 and 28 points in his last two games. He will be the first Alaskan to suit up for Oregon since Ray Shafer of Wasilla played there from 2004 to 2008.
Abdul-Bassit has been surrounded by Alaska basketball royalty his entire life. In addition to his dad, his high school coach was Chuck White (who won a record 921 games in Alaska), his teammate was Devon Bookert (Florida State guard) and his close friend is Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat guard and world champion), who showed him love on Twitter.
"Congrats to my lil brotha on makin that next move to college basketball at the University of Oregon," Chalmers tweeted. "I'm proud of u."
Van Williams is a reporter for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, who tracks the successes of Alaska athletes. Check his blog here.