Klie holds off on grad school, signs w/ Niagara of Canada’s NBL

October 25, 2017
Adam Klie basketball

Adam Klie

Graduate school will have to wait for Anchorage’s Adam Klie.

Even though he likely would make more money with his degree in bioengineering, the former UC San Diego All-American has opted to pursue a childhood dream of being a professional basketball player.

The 6-foot-4 guard signed a free-agent contract with the Niagara River Lions of the National Basketball League of Canada.

“Playing professionally was something that I have thought a lot about since I first started playing as a kid. I’ve always wondered how good I could get if I made basketball my sole focus,” he told me.

“I considered going to work right away with my degree and I also strongly considered graduate school in my field. If I had decided to go to work right away I probably would have made quite a bit more money. Luckily for me and my situation, that didn’t have to be the deciding factor and I was given the chance to pursue a lifelong goal of mine.”

Klie, of Service High fame, was one of the greatest players to wear a UC San Diego uniform. Since the school moved to the NCAA D2 level in 2000, he ranks No. 1 all-time in points [1,524], rebounds [625], field goals [561], games [118] and minutes [3,510].

As a senior he averaged 15.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists, and won the California Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Year award.

Niagara River Lions coach Joe Raso scouted Klie over the summer in Las Vegas during a scout showcase.

“First impressions are everlasting. Adam left a definite positive impression. His skill, his feel, and his work ethic were all on display.” Raso told Postmedia News. “I knew he was a trained, motivated, player who will make coaching enjoyable. We’re lucky to have recruited a first-class citizen to our community.”

Klie believes his game translates well to Canada’s NBL, which is comprised of many former college players from lower-level D1 and D2 schools in the States.

“I did have a few other offers from other parts of the world that came and went as the summer went on. A couple European teams were in and out with their interest as they filled out their rosters and Mexico and Australia were other possibilities,” he said. “It really is a difficult process as a player when you are trying to find your first professional gig; there are a lot of ins and outs to learn. Ultimately, Niagara stuck with me through much of the summer and at the end of the day I felt the most comfortable with the team, coach and the overall situation there.”