High School Sports

As their high school careers conclude, 5 Alaska basketball all-stars look ahead

The annual Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches senior all-star event took place over the weekend at Grace Christian High School. Top players and soon-to-be graduates from all four high school divisions across the state laced up their shoes for the final time this season. The Anchorage Daily News caught up with a few of the brightest standouts before they walk their respective stages next month to receive diplomas.

Each of them reflected on the weekend’s festivities, the highlights of their respective high school careers and what lies ahead.

Kellen Jedlicka, Grace Christian

The Grace Christian senior’s career accomplishments include scoring 1,000 points and winning a 3A state basketball title in 2023. He was also named to the All Tournament team of the Alaska Airlines Classic in 2023, the 3A All-State team in 2023 and 2024 and the All Conference First Team in 2023 and 2024, in addition to being the AABC 3A Player of the Year and the 2024 Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year. He has committed to play basketball at Lewis-Clark State College in the fall semester.

On playing in his final game as a high school player: “It was fun to play in my gym again and with guys I know and played with my whole life,” Jedlicka said.

High school career highlight: “Either winning state my junior year or going up to Monroe Catholic my junior year and blowing them out by like, 35 points,” Jedlicka said. “We had never beaten Monroe before and I don’t like them, so I’ll go with that game.”

Plans after graduation: “I’m majoring in sports management, and hopefully I can one day become a coach or player development coach and stay with basketball and have fun with that developing younger guys,” Jedlicka said.

Parting advice for the next generation: “Have fun,” Jedlicka said. “When people start not to like (basketball), it’s because they stopped having fun. That’s when it feels like a job to them. At the end of the day, it’s a kids game and as long as you’re having fun, you’re doing it right.”


Maile Wilcox, Dimond

The Dimond senior’s career accomplishments include scoring more than 1,500 points and being a three-year captain on the Lynx basketball team. She was also named 2023 Cook Inlet Conference Player of the Year and a 2024 AABC First-Team All-State honoree, and landed on multiple All-Conference and All-Tournament teams in basketball and flag football. She has committed to play basketball at Adams State University in the fall semester.

On playing in her final high school game: “It feels good and very complete,” Wilcox said. “I’m satisfied.”

On All-Star weekend: “It was really fun and the energy was really good and super positive,” Wilcox said. “It’s been great seeing girls from all over the state that I haven’t been able to talk to in my high school career. ... I know multiple girls that have gotten scholarships and are off playing in college because of this weekend, and I think it’s really good for Alaska basketball.”

High school career highlight: “Honestly this whole year,” Wilcox said. “Obviously, we had a big disappointment a month ago losing in the conference championship game, but it’s been a really great final ride and I’m really satisfied with everything that happened and am really grateful.”

Plans after graduation: “I think I’m going to study sports psychology and minor in business,” Wilcox said. “I’m just going to play college basketball — I’m not going to go pro — and then maybe become a sport psychologist for individual athletes helping them with their mental problems. I think that is a huge need that needs to be solved.”

Parting advice for the next generation: “Work hard, don’t be satisfied with anything and always chase greatness,” Wilcox said.

Akeem Sulaiman, Bettye Davis East Anchorage

The East senior’s career accomplishments include winning back-to-back 4A state championships in 2023 and 2024 as well as being named First-Team All-Tournament, AABC All-State and All-Conference both years as well.

On playing in his final high school game: “It feels good just wrapping it up and heading on to the next level,” Sulaiman said. “There’s a lot of memories, especially from this game, with a lot of friends.”

On All-Star weekend: “It was just a fun experience,” Sulaiman said. “It was fun playing against some of my teammates and making more friends from different cities.”

High school career highlight: “Playing with the seniors from two years ago,” Sulaiman said. “It was really fun and they really helped get me to where I am today.”

[From childhood friends to champions: These East High seniors are chasing Alaska basketball history as ‘a brotherhood’]

Plans after graduation: “I’ve been talking to a lot of colleges but I might sign in late May,” Sulaiman said. “I’m still weighing and looking at my options right now. I’ve been talking to Peninsula College, a few Division III (schools), (University of Alaska Anchorage), and a lot of junior colleges from NWAC and all around the country ... I want to major in business and be a land investor and own properties.”

Parting advice for the next generation: “Play hard and don’t take any opportunities for granted,” Sulaiman said.

Jager-Sean Brandell, King Cove

The King Cove senior’s career accomplishments include leading the T-Jacks to a 1A state basketball championship in 2024; being named to the All-Tournament First-Team at state and to the AABC All-State First-Team; and being selected as 1A Boys Player of the Year. He is also proud of being on the honor roll and having perfect attendance.

On playing in his final high school game: “It was pretty great and a long game, but it was nice,” Brandell said.

On All-Star weekend: “It was really fun. There were a lot of college coaches there, which makes you try a lot harder,” Brandell said. “It’s my senior year, so I have to do everything.”

High school career highlight: “Probably the end of the state title game when I just chucked the ball up in the air,” Brandell said.


Plans after graduation: “Hopefully basketball,” Brandell said. “I’m not talking to anybody right now.”

Parting advice for the next generation: “Play basketball and go to every event you can,” Brandell said.

Latrell Lake, Hooper Bay

The Hooper Bay senior’s career accomplishments include leading the Warriors to their first 2A state championship appearance in over a decade before coming up just short to Petersburg in the 2024 title tilt. He was also named to the 2024 All-Tournament First-Team at state and AABC All-State First-Team, and he was named the 2A Boys Player of the Year.

On playing in his final high school game: “It feels pretty good,” Lake said. “With a group of All-Stars, it felt really good to play together.”

On All-Star weekend: “It was long and exhausting, but it was a good thing to see people as good as you and even better,” Lake said. “It was a good experience and something different. I like basketball a lot, so I don’t mind being tired over the game. It doesn’t matter to me, I’m just going to play.”

High school career highlight: “Making it to the state championship after four years of trying,” Lake said.

Plans after graduation: “I have no idea yet,” Lake said. “I hope to go to college for basketball.”

Parting advice for the next generation: “Whatever happens, don’t stop,” Lake said. “Go for it and keep trying.”

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.