Stories about sporting events.

In Newtok, Byron John and some friends stand back up the village's outdoor basketball hoop (right). In Mertarvik, kids play on a portable hoop that has already seen some wear and tear in its first year (left).
Katie Basile / KYUK

An ongoing relocation effort caused by climate change-fueled erosion has separated friends across 9 miles of river. But if there’s one thing that unites them, it’s their love of basketball. In Newtok and Mertarvik, during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has closed school gyms, kids are still finding a way to play the game they love.

Hayden Lieb just before his last high school wrestling match. Lieb was awarded the "Pride of Youth Award" by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame on May 6, 2020.
Courtesy of Darren Lieb

High schoolers Hayden Lieb of Bethel and Aedyn Concepcion of Anchorage are the first wrestlers to win the award.

High School All-American Honors For Bethel Wrestler

May 4, 2020
Courtesy of Darren Lieb

Bethel’s Hayden Lieb continues to rack up wrestling honors. He is one of 96 wrestlers around the nation chosen to be a 2020 High School All-American, and the first Bethel wrestler to earn that recognition. 

Alaska Sports Hall Of Fame Looks At Hayden Lieb

Apr 23, 2020
Alaska Sports Hall of Fame

A Bethel wrestler is one of three male finalists for the boys' side of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame 2020 Pride of Alaska award, and the only athlete from rural Alaska to make the cut.

Klejka In Nome

Mar 19, 2020
Zachariah Hughes

Bethel’s Jessica Klejka became the 22nd musher to cross the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race finish line in Nome on Thursday, March 19.

Kaiser In Nome

Mar 18, 2020
Zachariah Hughes

At a few minutes before 1 p.m. on March 18, Bethel’s Pete Kaiser crossed the finish line in Nome with nine dogs in harness. His was the 14th team to complete the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race this year.

Kaiser's Iditarod Run Not What He Hoped

Mar 18, 2020
Zachariah Hughes

Thomas Waerner wasted no time crossing the finish line in Nome, winning the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race at 12:37 a.m. on March 18. Six hours later, Mitch Seavey’s team arrived at 6:16 a.m. Jessie Royer was next in line to Nome.

Iditarod Victory Likely For Leading Norwegian Musher

Mar 17, 2020
Ben Matheson

Thomas Waerner left White Mountain at 1:35 p.m. on March 17, and is well on his way down the trail to Nome. He has all but won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race because his nearest challenger, Mitch Seavey, mushed into the White Mountain checkpoint at 10:49 a.m. Seavey has a mandatory eight-hour layover, and will have to wait until 6:49 p.m. before he can head out on the 77 miles of trail leading to the finish line in Nome. 

Waerner Leaves For Safety And Nome This Afternoon

Mar 17, 2020
Zachariah Hughes

Thomas Waerner, the Norwegian musher leading the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, will have to wait till 2 p.m. on March 17 to head back out on the trail to Nome. He arrived at the White Mountain checkpoint at 5:30 a.m. with a huge lead to start his mandated eight-hour rest. Mitch Seavey, who has worked his way past 12 teams to lead the chase pack, drove into White Mountain at a bit before 11 a.m. That’s five hours after Waerner's arrival. Jessie Royer is just a few miles behind Seavey.

Emily Hofstadter

He’s not in Nome yet, but Norwegian musher Thomas Waerner had a huge lead when he arrived in White mountain at 6 a.m. on March 17. He pulled into the checkpoint with a team of 12 dogs to begin the last mandatory eight-hour rest in the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Warner started his run around Norton Sound in Unalakleet with a five-hour lead which has not shrunk. He left Elim five hours ahead of Mitch Seavey, who is leading the chase pack. Waerner can get back on the trail this afternoon at 2 p.m, and is expected to cross the finish line in Nome on the morning of Wednesday, March 18.