Ninilchik coach Dan Leman is actually going to have to start earning his Class 1A/2A Coach of the Year honors again.
Leman was named Coach of the Year for the sixth time, and third in a row, in voting by the state's media announced Sunday.
And, for the third straight year Whitney Leman, Dan's daughter, was named Class 1A/2A Player of the Year. Whitney, a 5-foot-6 senior, joins Trajan Langdon as the only three-time Player of the Year in Alaska.
Dan's problem is that Whitney has used up all of her eligibility.
"I've been riding her coattails the last four years," said Dan, who has led the Wolverines to six state titles, including four in a row. "Next year, it's going to be a lot tougher without Whitney.
"But I'm looking forward to next year. It'll be an exciting year. I'm not going away."
Dan said that Whitney has made his job easier by being a team player. In the regular season, Whitney averaged 20.1 points per game, five rebounds per game, six steals per game and six assists per game.
If she had wanted to, Whitney probably could have averaged over 30 points per game. But that wouldn't have fit in with Dan's plan.
"She's totally a team player," Dan said. "There isn't anything I've asked of her the past four years that she hasn't already done.
"The success we've had the past four years is directly tied to the way she plays. Obviously, you can't do it all on your own so she has made the team an important thing. When the rest of the players see that, they make the team the most important thing, too."
Naturally, Whitney quibbles with her dad's coattails assertion.
"He's a great coach and he deserves it," Whitney said of her father's honor. "How can you have a Player of the Year without a Coach of the Year?"
Whitney also thanked her teammates for helping her to the award. Included in that group are 5-10 junior Amanda Matson, who was voted to the second team, and senior Kelsey Deiman, who received honorable mention.
"Player of the Year isn't something I think about every day, so it's not like I was waiting for the phone call," Whitney said. "I'm happy to get the award, though, because it shows all the hard work has paid off."
Dan also sees Whitney's award as a culmination of years of toil.
"She works so hard and she is so dedicated to the game," Dan said. "I don't know when it started, fifth grade, maybe, but since then she's always had a basketball in her hands."
In the near future, Whitney and Dan will be embarking on a tour of colleges to figure out where Whitney will continue playing basketball.
"She's got so many things going for her right now," Dan said. "She's at the top of her class. But basketball is definitely her love."
Whitney continues to add to a long string of Players of the Year from Ninilchik. Mandi Bock won in 1996, Trish Nobles won in 1997, Corrie Lindeman won in 1998 and Theresa Chihuly won in 2000.
As for Dan's future, he said he confided to his wife, Jamie, a few years back that he was thinking about hanging up the whistle after Whitney left. With Dan's daughter Krista in eighth grade, Jamie didn't consider that an option.
"The word from the wife is that as long as Krista is there, I'm there," Dan said.
Also from the peninsula, Mandy Evans, a 5-4 senior from Cook Inlet Academy, was named to the third team.
On the boys side, Jacob Peterson, a 5-11 senior from CIA, was named to the first team after his squad's runner-up finish in the state. Teammates Kyle Nettles, a 5-8 junior; Calder Hillyer, a 6-3 senior; and Luke Meyers, a 6-0 senior; were named to the third team. Also on that third team was 5-9 senior Steven Miller of Ninilchik.
Receiving honorable mention was Stephan Nikitenko and Peter Tipikin of Nikolaevsk.
Anchorage Daily News/Alaska Media All-State Basketball Team
Player of the Year -- George Peratrovich, Hydaburg
Coach of the Year -- Jim Holien, Hydaburg
First team -- George Peratrovich, 6-1 jr., Hydaburg, Darren Zibell, 5-11 sr., Noorvik; Darren Edenshaw, 6-2 sr., Hydaburg; Clayton Edwin, 6-2 sr., Nenana; Jacob Peterson, 5-11 sr., Cook Inlet Academy.
Second team -- Jarret Brown, 6-2 sr., Skagway; Tory Andrew, 5-6 fr., New Stuyahok; Vinny Edenshaw, 5-8 sr., Hydaburg; Ryan Shewfelt, 5-10 sr., Fort Yukon; Allen Tibbetts, 6-3 jr., Bristol Bay.
Third team -- Kyle Nettles, 5-8 jr., Cook Inlet Academy; Calder Hillyer, 6-3 sr., Cook Inlet Academy, Luke Myers, 6-0 sr., Cook Inlet Academy; Steven Miller, 5-9 sr., Ninilchik; Othniel Oomittuk, 6-3 sr., Point Hope.
Honorable mention -- Rodney Ahtuangaruak, jr., Nuiqsut, Noah Brunner, Lumen Christi; Alexie Carlie, Nenana; Jason Chunak, New Stuyahok; Tommy Elia, St. Mary's; Vern Emmons, St. Mary's; Peter Kosbruk, Nuiqsut; J.R. Lane, Point Hope; Jesse Lang, Aniak; Jon Morris, Noorvik; John Nichols, Unalaska; Stephan Nikitenko, Nikolaevsk; Shane Padgett, Kake; J.R. Peterson, Aniak; Brandon Thomas, Fort Yukon; Simon Thome, Fort Yukon; Peter Tipikin, Nikolaevsk; Dean Towarek, Unalaska.
Player of the Year -- Whitney Leman, Ninilchik
Coach of the Year -- Dan Leman, Ninilchik
First team -- Whitney Leman, 5-6 sr., Ninilchik; Danielle Knudsen, 5-10 sr., Kake; Courtney Stewart, 5-10 so., Mountain Village; Danica Wilson, 5-10 so., Bristol Bay; Aggie Nashookpuk, 5-7 sr., Point Hope.
Second team -- Katherine George, 5-5 jr., Akiachak; Amanda Matson, 5-10 jr., Ninilchik; Ariel Tweto, 5-3 fr., Unalakleet; Holly Hildebrand, 5-2 jr., Nulato; Sidney Stewart, 5-8 fr., Mountain Village.
Third team -- Janet Geary, 5-2 so., Buckland; Savannah Ames, 5-5 so., Skagway; Destiny Bell, 5-6 so., Hydaburg; Heather Richardson, 5-5 jr., Matanuska Christian; Mandy Evans, 5-4 sr., Cook Inlet Academy.
Honorable mention -- Jubilee Brost, Matanuska Christian; Tiffany Edwards, Bristol Bay; Kelsey Deiman, Ninilchik; Carmen Estrada, Angoon, Jamie Geagel, Seldovia; Angie Gingue, Tok; Grace Ishnook, Koliganek; Jackie Ivanoff, Unalakleet; Cassie Lamphear, Tok; Iris Lane, Point Hope; Romaine Roach, Tok; Kaleigh Ryno, Klawock; Betsy Thomas, Buckland; Cheryl Tunguing, Koliganek; Nicole Turner, Shishmaref, Pauline Tutiakoff, Unalaska; Ayla Tweto, Unalakleet.
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