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Anchorage basketball team avoids earthquake, heads to Billings to face MSUB

BILLINGS- The fallout from the Anchorage earthquake was five minutes away from having an impact right here in Billings.

Not a seismic impact, but rather an impact on the hardwood.

The University of Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team is playing at MSUB this weekend and the flight that the team was on to Seattle left Anchorage right before the earthquake struck.

MSUB head coach Mick Durham, who has Alaskan connections himself having coached the University of Alaska Fairbanks from 2011-18, told us that he spoke to Anchorage head coach during their layover in Seattle and he believes that had their flight had not taken off before the quake it is unlikely their team would be traveling to Billings.

Coach Durham spoke told us about what dealing with earthquakes in Alaska is like.

“I was in Anchorage a lot and you always saw pictures of the big earthquake they had… and they were always talking about when it hits again…It would be hard to imagine what people are going through but I remember the shaking in Fairbanks when we’d have the little ones…that’s just something that is a part of Alaska unfortunately,” said Durham.

Alaska averages one magnitude 7-8 earthquake per year and 11 percent of earthquakes across the globe happen in Alaska per seismic Alaska.

The game will go on as planned, with tipoff at 7 pm at Alterowitz gym, but coach Durham says that times like these serve as a reminder that some things are bigger than sports.

“It makes you think twice about what’s important and what’s not …I think the game will go on accordingly, but obviously their minds will be elsewhere too,” said Durham.

Connor Pregizer

Connor Pregizer

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