Prep-to-pro basketball star Daishen Nix of Anchorage, record-tying Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey of Seward and NHL rookie-of-the-year candidate Jeremy Swayman have been selected by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors as finalists for the 2021 men’s Pride of Alaska Award.
The competition for the award was stacked as honorable mention included stock car champion Bill Balog, college wrestler Caleb Hopkins, cross-country skiers Luke Jager and Gus Schumacher, college hockey player Nolan Walker, pro basketball player Travante Williams, Olympic Trials wrestling qualifier Spencer Woods.
The winner will be announced Wednesday, May 5 at 2 p.m. on Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Facebook Live, co-hosted by Alaska News Source and featuring Anchorage sportscaster Patrick Enslow and Hall of Fame Executive Director Harlow Robinson.
Nix, 19, is a rising star in the hoops game and is expected to be drafted by the NBA after leading the G League in assists.
A 6-foot-5 guard from Anchorage, he became the third Alaskan to score 25 points in a G League game, doing so on his 19th birthday in a win for the Ignite. In 15 games, Nix averaged 8.8 points and 5.3 assists.
As a senior in high school, Nix became the first Alaskan since the Big 3 to earn high school McDonald’s All-American status.
He then decided to skip college and go straight to the pro level in the NBA G League.
Seavey won his fifth Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, tying him with Alaska Sports Hall of Famer Rick Swenson for the most wins in history.
His official winning time was 7 days, 14 hours, 8 minutes and 57 seconds.
Just 34, the victory marked a triumphant return for Seavey, who took a three-year break from the Iditarod after being penalized, and ultimate cleared of wrongdoing in 2018 by race officials after his dogs tested positive for a banned substance.
Seavey previously won four titles in a five-year span, starting in 2012.
Swayman has taken the NHL by storm after a sensational final season of college hockey at the University of Maine.
As a junior with the Black Bears, the goalie was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award and won the Mike Richter Award before signing an entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins.
He made memorable NHL debut with the Boston Bruins, turning aside 40 shots in a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers to become the third Alaska goalie to play in the NHL and the 17th Alaskan to log ice time in the world’s premier hockey league.
In his first seven games, the South High grad was 5-2 with a 1.67 goals against average and a shutout.
The Pride of Alaska Award dates back to 2012 and is given to an athlete or athletes, team or coach who excelled in sports in the past year or recent years, and did so with integrity and sportsmanship and been a positive role model.
2020: Gus Schumacher
2019: Keegan Messing
2018: Andrew Kurka
2017: David Norris
2016: Dallas Seavey and Soldotna HS Football Team (co-winners)
2015: Erik Flora
2014: Trevor Dunbar and Eric Strabel (co-winners)
2013: Mario Chalmers
2012: Alaska Aces