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Athlete of the Week: UAA men’s basketball player Tobin Karlberg

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 8:13 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Tobin Karlberg has been playing basketball in Anchorage for his whole life, and while he is a senior in the classroom he is just a junior on the court. This year, he is looking to make a splash.

Karlberg and his teammate Oggie Pantovic were both named to the preseason All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference team. The team as a whole was also ranked No. 2 in a preseason poll, meaning that even though the team hasn’t played refereed games in over 600 days, they are still well thought of in the conference.

“It means, you know, that people are respecting us, but at the same time it means that we gotta go out and defend that and prove that, so it’s kind of two sided,” said Karlberg, a junior guard. “Like it’s great, but at the same time it doesn’t mean a whole lot.”

Karlberg is no stranger to playing at the Alaska Airlines Center, the Anchorage athlete helped lead Grace Christian to three straight state championship games and win one in his junior year. He is also no stranger to having the stands filled with people that he knows.

“At first I took it as pressure because there is so many people I know that are sitting their watching, but at the end of the day there is really no pressure when my highest expectations come from myself,” Karlberg said.

He has come a long way since his high school days almost looking like a different person with the amount of muscle that he has put on. Karlberg credits the strength and conditioning team at UAA for the growth and said that consistency is key. Also saying that he didn’t even notice the growth until he had multiple people point it out to him.

“He just continues to grow. You don’t have to worry about Tobin putting in the time, he gets in the gym whether it’s with us or without us, and ... he’s just dedicated to getting better,” said UAA men’s basketball coach Rusty Osborne.

In Karlberg’s sophomore year he was one of the best shooters in the nation making it rain from behind the arc. This year Coach Osborne says that we can expect that to continue while he also adds in more scoring from all three areas of the floor behind the line, mid range and at the rim. Karlberg has not only grown physically in the past few years at college but mentally as well.

“Recently I have realized that as I have grown and matured a little bit, I have realized that like, my identity isn’t wrapped around basketball. Like it’s what I do but it isn’t who I am,” Karlberg said.

Going on to say that he could play an amazing game or he could be terrible and it wouldn’t change who he is as a person. Right now he is currently studying journalism and public communications and he hopes to continue his basketball career at the professional level after graduation from UAA.

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