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Eric Sele shines on the football field and in the gym

Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Faleene Sele knew sports would be a big part of her son Eric's life, especially once she heard him utter his first word - ball.

"To say that Eric loves sports would be an understatement, and to say his mom is proud of him doesn't begin to explain how I feel about his talent and achievements," Faleene Sele wrote in an e-mail. "He is so fun to watch."

Eric Sele was surrounded by an athletic and accomplished family while growing up in Sitka. He played many sports. He is a starting forward for the Juneau-Douglas basketball team, but also earned All-State honors in football during the fall. However, he maintains basketball as his favorite sport.

"My dad grew up playing so I grew up watching more basketball than football. I didn't start playing football until I was nine, but I've played basketball my whole life," he said. "You get closer to the team than you do in football. I was close with my football team, but you really have to be connected and you have to play more together (in basketball)."

Sele, who moved to Juneau in 2000, said he started playing recreational basketball in Sitka when he was about 4 years old and has been playing ever since. Aside from his time in Hooptime and with the Juneau-Douglas basketball team, he also represented Juneau in the Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, in 2008 with the Team Alaska Junior Male basketball team.

He hopes to keep playing basketball or football in the future. He said if he does not go south to warmer weather to play football, he will try to play basketball at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks or the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

NBA or College Basketball: "The NCAA Final Four is more fun to watch but I enjoy pro basketball more."

Favorite team: "The Lakers because I think Kobe's the best player in the league and they're the champions. They're really fun to watch and they have a lot of talent."

How to fix the NBA Slam Dunk Contest: "Some of the more talented dunkers in the league need to start doing it. LeBron James needs to do it and Dwight Howard needs to do it again."

Favorite moment at JDHS: "Playing (Thunder Mountain) this year (in basketball) was probably it with all the fans there. It felt good having that, man; people support you. It's hard to hear on the court when they're yelling, but I think that's what makes it even better."

• Send your athlete profile suggestions to matthew.tynan@juneauempire.com.



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