Northern exposure

Local teams have great experience on- and off-court

The Navajo Prep boys’ basketball team took part in the Clarke Cochran Christmas Classic during the winter break in Ketchikan, Alaska. The Lady Eagles also took part of the tournament as both teams went 1-2 in the tournament.


Many high school basketball teams hit the road during the winter break, but few, if any, enjoy the delicacies of king crab legs directly from the ocean and smoked salmon while away from home.

The Navajo Preparatory School boys and girls basketball teams were among those over the winter break when they traveled to Ketchikan, Alaska to play in the Clarke Cochran Christmas Classic held Dec. 28-30.

Both teams went 1-2 in the tournament.

Navajo Prep girls’ basketball head coach and Athletic Director Rainy Crisp, who accompanied her 13 varsity players on the trip, said it was an opportunity her team won’t soon forget.

“It was a trip that really brought us back to being proud of who we are as Navajo people,” Crisp said. “It really helped us off and on the court.”

Both teams played in an eight-team bracket tournament with teams from California and Washington, and from throughout Alaska.

Planning for the trip began just over a year ago when Navajo Prep boys’ basketball head coach Rick Hoerner presented the opportunity.

Hoerner took two teams from Piedra Vista High School to the tournament in 2001 and 2005. Hoerner was invited to take another team back to the tournament just over a year ago and he and Crisp proposed the idea to the board of regents. He said he knew it would be a fitting opportunity for the students at Navajo Prep.

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Categories: Basketball

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at or via cell at (505) 686-0769.