Stewart “B Stew” Erhart, Jr. grew up in Tanana and Fairbanks, Alaska, and is a tribal member of Stevens Village. He is the son of Stephanie Pitka of Stevens Village and Stewart Erhart of Tanana. Erhart, Jr.’s maternal grandparents are Cheryl Mayo Kriska of Stevens Village and Daryl Kriska of Koyukuk. His paternal grandparents are Becky and Chuckie Erhart of Tanana.
At the age of three, Erhart, Jr.’s, love for basketball began when he started watching his parents and brother play. “…when I went to Tanana, there’s only a gym. There is no other sports like hockey or football,” said Erhart, Jr.
Between seasons, he would participate in traditional activities. Earlier this year, Erhart, Jr. attended the Stevens Village traditional camp with his grandfather and uncle. He helped build a sled and taught the youth how to use fish nets and learn the rules and morals surrounding it.
In high school, Erhart, Jr. was awarded the Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year twice. His senior year, he averaged 21.2 points, 7.3 average rebounds, 4 average assists and 5.3 average steals per game.
His favorite part about the game is challenging himself to be better than he was yesterday and to be the best player he can be.
Erhart, Jr. led the West Valley boys basketball team to a 26-2 record in Alaska’s 4A division and they placed second in the Alaska State championship in 2023.
In May, he graduated with high academic achievements and was awarded for Outstanding Senior, Alaska Native Education Student Ambassador of the Year, and a Distinguished Athlete Award from the United States Marine Corps.
Among basketball, Erhart Jr. is known for his big heart, kindness, and acceptance of people from all walks of life.
Erhart, Jr. is currently attending Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.
Erhart, Jr.’s advice for younger generations is to “just go for it…you can do anything you want. Everybody wakes up the same day; everybody has the same opportunities.”
Growing up, Erhart, Jr. witnessed the effects of alcohol and what is what was doing to his community and people. “It’s a big problem in the villages and the younger generations, and taking it onto the next… it’s a generational oppression against Native people,” continued Erhart, Jr. “I see younger kids looking up to me in Tanana and when I go home, they are all proud to see me. Just being the voice of someone they can look up to…I see alcoholism and it’s a problem. I get emotional about it…[I want to] lead by example.”