Hepa returns to Alaska to graduate from High School

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Kamaka Hepa was back in Anchorage this weekend, cheering on the Barrow High School boys’ basketball team.

“I’m really excited to be back and support them, give them energy,” Hepa said Saturday.

The Whalers defeated Grace 65 to 52, winning the 2018 3A Boys State Basketball championship.

Hepa said he offered a piece of advice to his former teammates before tip-off:

“Enjoy the moment. I’ve already finished my high school career a couple weekends ago, and I really miss it a lot.”

The 6'8" senior spent his first two years of high school playing for the Barrow Whalers before spending his past two seasons playing for Jefferson High School in Portland, Ore.

Hepa was a two-time Gatorade player of the year in Alaska, 2018 Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year, and has committed to play at the University of Texas this fall.

Playing for one of the biggest programs in the country is a year-round commitment, which is why Hepa returned home this spring to graduate from Barrow High School.

“Just being back here is really great for me, and to be around my friends one last time before I head off to school,” Hepa said.

The Longhorns lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament this year, but Hepa remains positive about the direction the Texas program is headed.

“I feel like the progression they’ve been making is really good, and me going there next year can help them continue that progress.”

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