ANCHORAGE – Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball coach Rusty Osborne has added an elite shooter and a familiar face to his 2018-19 roster, announcing Friday that Div. I transfer Niko Bevens has signed a scholarship agreement to play for the Seawolves, and that Sjur Berg will return to the Seawolf program after a one-year hiatus.
A 6-6 guard, Bevens played his freshman season at North Idaho College and his sophomore campaign at Montana, where he contributed in 15 games for the Grizzlies’ Big Sky Conference 2017-18 title squad. At North Idaho, he helped the Cardinals to an NWAC Eastern Conference championship in 2016-17, averaging 14.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game. Bevens drained 110 of 221 three-pointers (49.6 percent) for the Cardinals, making five or more treys in eight different games, including a career-high 11-of-15 for 36 points against Elite Prep.
“We are elated that Niko has chosen to join our program,” said Osborne, whose team ranked fourth in NCAA Div. II in scoring defense last season. “He is an elite shooter with deep range who will fit perfectly into our system. His ability to stretch the floor will benefit everyone around him. In high school he was a 50/40/90 shooter, and in his one year at North Idaho, he was one of a handful of players to approach 50 percent from three at any level of college basketball. In addition, we think his length will be an asset in our defensive style.”
Originally from Beaverton, Ore., Bevens earned numerous all-league honors and was an Oregon All-Star during a storied prep career. A 48 percent shooter from three-point range, he helped the Beavers to a Metro League championship and state playoff berth as a senior in 2016. Bevens began his prep career at Westview High School.
He joins fellow transfer and former North Idaho player Tyler Brimhall (6-5, G/F, Jr., Logan, Utah/Idaho/NIC), along with Alaska prep stars Travis Adams (5-10, G, Fr., Barrow) and Tobin Karlberg (6-0, G, Fr., Anchorage/Grace Christian), to give the Seawolf four players in their 2018 recruiting class.
“As we looked at our needs, our staff wanted to add shooting and length to our perimeter positions,” Osborne added. “Along with Tyler Brimhall, Niko gives us exactly those attributes. We know both players have been coached well by Coach (Corey) Symons and his staff at North Idaho. Even better, Niko is a young man with great character who will represent our program well both on the floor and in the community.”
Meanwhile, Berg will rejoin the Seawolves after spending a year in his native Norway. A 6-7, 220-pound forward, Berg has played in 58 career games, including nine starts, averaging 3.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest, and shooting 52 percent from the field.
“We are excited about the return of Sjur this fall,” Osborne said. “It was important for him to have this year to take care of some personal family matters, but he is excited to return also. He has already signed up for fall classes and we looked forward to being reunited with him in August. As he has shown in the past, he is a superb rebounder who will strengthen our forward position next year. He had a very good summer in 2017 representing Norway in the World University Games, and I know he will put in the time to be ready this summer.”