Alaska state basketball tournament canceled due to coronavirus concerns

Courtney Self of the Kiana Lady Lynx makes a layup over several Buckland players. Kiana Lady Lynx had qualified for this year’s state basketball tournament, but the tournament was canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus. (Wesley Early/ KOTZ)

The Alaska School Activities Association canceled this year’s state basketball and cheerleading tournaments due to concerns over the coronavirus. It had previously been postponed.

In a statement released Saturday, the ASAA says “MarchMadness Alaska is possibly the largest statewide gathering each year and ASAA would not be acting responsibly if we were to host this year’s event.”

The move comes a day after Gov. Mike Dunleavy ordered schools closed through March 30. Health officials have advocated people practice social distancing, limiting physical contact with others. 

The state tournament had originally been scheduled for the week of March 15, with teams traveling from across the state to compete in Anchorage.

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Wesley is a reporter for Alaska Public Media, covering primarily city government and Anchorage life. He previously worked at Alaska Public Media as a web editor, producer and education reporter before a two-year stint in Kotzebue, AK as News Director for KOTZ-AM.

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