Sports

Black signs letter of intent

Lexie Black wasn’t sure she even wanted to continue her basketball career after high school.

The career blocked shot record holder at Coupeville High School knew it would take a special place where academics and environment both meshed well with basketball.

A recent trip to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, an NCAA Division II school in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference, fit the bill.

“I wasn’t 100 percent sure,” Black said of playing college basketball. “When I went up there I just felt like I had a place on the team and I was just really comfortable.”

Black, who averaged 11.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and five blocked shots per game in 2005, signed her letter of intent to play for the Nanooks on Wednesday afternoon.

Sitting in the main office at CHS, the 6-foot-2 post eagerly signed papers that guaranteed her a full-ride scholarship to play for UAF.

“You kind of feel like you’re signing your life away, and in a sense you are, but it’s good, it’s a good thing,” Black said.

About 15 faculty members, her family and head coach for four years, Greg Oldham, were on hand to witness the big event.

“It’s never old hat,” Oldham said of the signing. “There are so few players that get the opportunity to continue their careers.

As a coach you love the game so much and knowing that I’ll have a chance to see her play again is really special.”

Black finished her career as a Wolf with a school-record 289 blocks, 127 of which came in her senior season.

Alaska Fairbanks coach Lynne Andrew expressed her excitement about Black joining the team in a recent press release.

“Lexie has a lot of potential to grow in our program,” Andrew said. “She is good defensively, is a great shot blocker, and has a great touch around the basket, and I look for her to come in, rebound, and compete in the post area.”

Black will join 2002 Oak Harbor High School graduate Valerie Hartman on the Nanooks’ roster.

“It’s neat, there’s a lot of local fan base,” Black said.

Alaska Fairbanks competes in the same division as Western Washington University, Central Washington University, Seattle Pacific University and Seattle University, so local fans will have several opportunites to make it out to games.

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