Headed north

Former Sailor joins Alaska basketball program

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Cameron Burney did what most Americans do when hungry for information.

He went to Google's Web site and looked up the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

Everything he saw, heard and read was encouraging enough for the former Steamboat Spr--ings basketball player to sign a national letter of intent to join the Seawolves next season.

Burney will have three years of eligibility at the Division 2 school.

"It will be sweet," he said Tuesday in the Steamboat Springs gymnasium. "Alaska is beautiful. It's going to be awesome."

Burney spent last season at Otero Junior College in La Junta, but his coach moved up to another school, and he was ready for a change.

"I don't want to go back to junior college," Burney said.

Instead, Burney will divide his summer between Denver, where his dad lives, and Steamboat, where the rest of his family and Steamboat boys basketball coach Kelly Meek live.

"He was the first person I called," Burney said about Meek.

Burney will train, stay in shape and play as much basketball as he can before he arrives on campus in the fall.

"My coach told me, 'We've got some playing time open,'" Burney said.

Burney said he likely would play a small forward position with the Seawolves.

The University of Alaska-Anchorage is a familiar name because the school hosts the Great Alaska Shootout, an annual early-season basketball tournament that features a number of Division 1 schools.

ESPN and ESPN2 televise the tournament to a national audience.

In the 2007-08 season -- Burney's junior year -- Gonzaga, Michigan and Texas Tech are among the scheduled participants. Xavier and California are other opponents Burney expects to face while in Alaska.

"It's a D-2 school, but you play mostly D-I teams. I can't wait," said Burney, who couldn't stop smiling Tuesday.

Burney missed seven games this winter at Otero because of a broken foot, but the 6-foot-6 swing player healed in time for the final games of the season.

Burney is a 2005 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School.

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