Anchorage, Alaska (Alaska Sports Report) - Coming out of high school, Anchorage all-state players Bishop Tosi of Bartlett and Hasaan Herrington of East were recruited by the UAA men’s basketball team and they considered signing with the Seawolves, but COVID changed those plans.
Tosi wound up at Bellevue College and Herrington went to the University of Texas Tyler. It looked like they had gotten away.
But UAA coach Rusty Osborne reeled them back in, landing both local products for the upcoming season as the second and third signings of elite Alaska players.
In March it was Class 3A Player of the Year Sloan Lentfer of Grace Christian. This time it’s former Cook Inlet Conference MVP Herrington and NWAC champion Tosi, who scored a Bartlett school-record 45 points as a senior in 2021.
Those three will join on the Seawolves soon-to-be senior Jaron Williams out of East and soon-to-be junior Luke Devine from Wasilla to give UAA five former Alaska all-state players.
“There are going to be a lot of Alaskans on the team, which I think will be pretty cool,” Tosi said. “I finally get to be on the same team as Jaron and Hasaan after years of playing against them. It should be a lot of fun. I’ve talked to them a little bit and we are all excited to represent the state as a whole.”
Tosi was a three-time 4A all-state player at Bartlett, earning First Team honors in 2021 and Third Team recognition in 2020 and 2019.
Herrington was a two-time 4A all-state pick after getting a First Team nod in 2021 and 2020. He was the centerpiece of East’s 19-0 state championship team as a senior. That same season he scored 35 points at the Alaska Airlines Classic, tied for the eighth-most in the tournament 30-year history.
“I’m looking forward to being able to play in front of the city,” Herrington said. “Winning at home would mean everything. Was able to do it in high school without such a big crowd due to COVID, so to run it back with everyone in attendance would be great.”
The Seawolves last season finished 13-14 for Osborne’s first losing campaign since his rookie year as head coach in 2004-05. The team was good enough on paper to contend for a GNAC playoff berth but went 1-10 in games decided by five points or fewer.
With the return of several key players like Sawyer Storms, Tyson Gilbert and Dathan Satchell in addition to a half dozen newcomers including the Rage City calvary, look for UAA to bounce back.
“Seawolves fans can expect me to give it my all every game,” Tosi said. “Being from Anchorage specifically is even more special. I was born and raised there; it will mean a lot to be back home and I am excited for all of the opportunities that come with it. I’m hoping that this becomes a new trend for Alaska basketball.”
Tosi won 43 of 59 games at Bellevue and scored a game-high 19 points in an 85-71 win over Everett in this year’s NWAC Championships title game.
The 6-foot-6 sophomore forward was an All-NWAC First Team selection and averaged 15.0 points and 8.7 rebounds in 32 games.
His size makes him a good fit in the GNAC, a top-notch NCAA Division II league.
“I’ve been watching a lot of GNAC games over the past two years and I’m looking forward to grinding out a lot of games,” Tosi said.
The 6-foot-3 Herrington spent the last two seasons at Texas Tyler, where he played under coach Louis Wilson of Anchorage.
Herrington redshirted his first year and last season played 20 games and averaged 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds. He bagged a season high 10 points and nine rebounds against Texas Permian Basin and hit a pair of free throws inside the final minute of a 66-63 win over Oklahoma Christian.
Even though he didn’t get a ton of playing time, he learned a ton from Wilson.
“Playing at UT Tyler under Coach Lou was a great experience. I really grew as a man on and off the court,” he said. “Learned so much about basketball and was able to grow in ways I wouldn’t have imagined. Those two years did nothing but benefit me. Now I’m hungry as ever and ready to represent the city to the best of my abilities.”
At UAA, Herrington will link up with Williams, a former teammate at East. Three years ago, they could have never dreamed of playing alongside each other in college, but now it’s a reality.
“We were able to win a lot of games together and we have a great chemistry on and off the court. To continue that is nothing less than a blessing,” Herrington said.
“I love how UAA is recruiting people from the state of Alaska. I think it shows kids that if you work hard enough you can meet your goals and be able to represent your city at the college level.”
Herrington made it clear this isn’t a homecoming parade. He’s here to win.
“I’m ready to get to work with my new teammates and coaching staff,” he said.
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