By Van Williams
Classic Media Director
Anchorage’s Sloan Lentfer didn’t need directions to UAA. He just followed his father’s footsteps.
The Seawolves landed the reigning Alaska Class 3A player of the year out of Grace Christian after senior forward signed with UAA, a huge pull for longtime bench boss Rusty Osborne, who coached Lentfer’s dad Clint in the 1990s.
“It is a pretty unique experience being able to play under the same coach that my dad did,” Lentfer said. “I’ve been a Seawolves fan for a long time.”
The second-generation Seawolf is a 6-foot-7, 235-pound double-double machine who in his final high school season was a three-time tournament MVP and finished runnerup for Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year honors.
He averaged 16.0 points and 10.5 rebounds and was the centerpiece for a 26-2 Grizzlies team that won the ASAA 3A state championship and ended the season on a 24-game winning streak.
The big man is a big deal and keeping Lentfer at home was crucial for a UAA team that badly needed to bolster its interior size and strength after finishing 13-14 for Osborne’s first losing season since his first year as head coach in 2004-2005.
Lentfer becomes the second player in UAA’s 2023 recruiting class, joining 6-foot-5 freshman point guard Trey Evans of Salt Lake City.
“We are very excited to add Sloan as the second piece of our recruiting class,” Osborne said. “He had a special year.”
He really did. Lentfer was MVP of three premier tournaments featuring premier players. At the Mt. McKinley Bank Holiday Classic in Fairbanks, he beat out two-time Gatorade winner Stewart Erhart of West Valley. At the Alaska Prep Shootout, he beat out Cook Inlet Conference MVP Xzavier Baker. And at the Alaska Airlines Classic, he beat out a pair of surefire college players from Heritage Christian out of the Los Angeles area.
Lentfer had 17 points and 10 rebounds against Heritage to highlight a 53-50 win in the Classic championship game as Grace became just the fifth Alaska team to win the title in a tournament that dates back to 1989.
“That performance did not give me that much confidence, it was the preseason leading up to it, as well as the games afterwards,” he said.
Lentfer’s dad Clint played for the Seawolves from 1993 to 1995, when Osborne was an assistant under Harry Larrabee and then Charlie Bruns. In 1994, UAA advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s super cool to be able to play for the same program that my father did,” Lentfer said. “My dad hasn’t given me a ton of advice, but says it will be hard but very rewarding, so stick with it.”