Where’s Leif? Next stop Australia [Basketball]

September 9, 2013

When Leif Karlberg of Anchorage graduated from The Master’s College last spring, he figured the clock had run out on his basketball career.

Then he connected with Athletes in Action.

Next thing Karlberg knew he was on his way to the Middle East on a goodwill basketball tour with a group of other recent college grads from around the country.

The AIA all-stars spent a month traveling around Israel and Palestine, he said, and played teams from the Palestinian Basketball Federation in addition to facing the Palestinian National Team.

Now Karlberg is on his way to Australia.

The former Alaska player of the year has accepted an opportunity to play for a club team in Queensland, thanks to his AIA connection.

“Though this is not a professional team or job opportunity, it is hopefully a step to go out there and play well, make connections and continue to pursue an overseas contract,” he told me.

Karlberg, of Grace Christian fame, is a 3-point specialist that left his mark at The Master’s College, an NAIA school in California. He ranks second on the all-time list for 3-pointers [322] and sixth in steals [173]. He scored 1,358 career points with a career high of 30.

The 6-foot-1 guard should light it up with that team in Australia and get a shot at a higher level.

“I’m hoping to make an impression,” he said.

The trip will work two-fold for Karlberg, a devout Christian, who will also volunteer at a local high school, Hillcrest, the sponsor of his club team.

“I’m just excited to head out there, play some basketball, work with the Christian school and maybe learn how to surf,” he said. “It’s going to be an adventure for sure.”