Kaleb Tompkins signs his letter of intent to Warner Pacific College as senior Treyson Ramos and basketball coach Robert Casperson watch at Juneau-Douglas High School on Thursday.

Kaleb Tompkins signs his letter of intent to Warner Pacific College as senior Treyson Ramos and basketball coach Robert Casperson watch at Juneau-Douglas High School on Thursday.

Another hoop rat to play at next level

Fresh off a state championship season, Juneau-Douglas High School basketball star Kaleb Tompkins won’t have much time to reflect on his accomplishments — he’s just earned a scholarship to Warner Pacific University.

Tompkins signed his letter of intent to play for the Portland, Oregon school in front of his smartphone-wielding teammates, coaches and family on Wednesday.

“I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a little kid, it’s kind of a dream come true,” Tompkins said after filling out what has to be the most exciting paperwork of his life. “It’s a stress off my shoulders now, it feels great. It was a tough decision, there were other schools I was looking at.”

Schools on Tompkins’ short list included Everett and Mt. Hood community colleges and Grays Harbor College.

Tompkins learned about Warner Pacific on an exposure trip with some of Alaska’s best prep players, including his cousin Guy Bean, who recently signed with Gray’s Harbor College. Dimond High School girls coach Jim Young took the boys to visit schools in the Lower 48 and Tompkins said Warner Pacific’s campus struck him as a great option.

Warner Pacific is a four-year school, which was important to Tompkins.

Warner Pacific’s team is also known to compete well in the Cascade Conference and the National Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

Tompkins said he is excited to be a part of a competitive team and he’ll be so busy with basketball he doesn’t see himself being distracted by the bustle of downtown Portland.

The 6-foot-5 guard led the state champion Crimson Bears with 529 points on the season, a 17.6 points-per-game average. On varsity since his sophomore season, Tompkins grew five inches in three years but continued to play with the shiftiness of a 6-footer, landing him second-team all state honors his senior year.

Tompkins is part of a senior class that started playing as youngsters together on Juneau’s Hoop Rats youth basketball teams. He and his self-described “basketball family” will leave massive shoes for the Crimson Bears to fill. Bean, Tompkins, Molo Maka, Treyson Ramos and Hunter Hickok all leave the team this year. JDHS rosters some great players underneath these five, but the seniors’ chemistry and drive will not be easily replaced.

Warner Pacific hasn’t indicated how they will utilize Tompkins. In the meantime, he doesn’t plan on doing anything different, just work on his game over the summer to stay sharp for the season.

Warner Pacific went 24-10 last year, making it to the second round of the NAIA National Championship Tournament where they were a No. 4 seed.

• Contact reporter Kevin Gullufsen at 523-2228 or kevin.gullufsen@juneauempire.com.

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