By BRIAN LESTER
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Greg Kahlig had a stellar senior season at the University of Findlay, and he put the exclamation point on his season and career Friday night.
The senior forward played in the Reese’s NCAA Division II All-Star Game at the Ford Center in Evansville. He was thankful he had one last chance to play basketball as a college athlete.
“It means a lot to put on the Findlay uniform one more time. I’m happy I was able to represent the Oilers,” Kahlig said in a post-game interview on the court. “To play in this game was special. I had a great experience.”
Kahlig played for the East squad, which lost 121-109 to the West in the ninth edition of this game. Kahlig, who finished fourth all-time in scoring at UF with 1,877 points, scored 7 points to go along with two rebounds and a steal.
He came through with two big plays despite the loss on a night when he went 3 of 6 from the field. The East shot 49.5 percent (45 of 91) as a team. The West shot 58.3 percent (49 of 84).
Right before the end of the opening half, Kahlig used a head fake to get his defender in the air and drilled a 3-pointer in the right corner as the buzzer went off. The East trailed 59-52 at the break.
Late in the second half, Kahlig drove across the baseline and spun around before scoring on a layup that made the score 109-96 with five minutes left.
Kahlig didn’t expect to go off for 40 or more points as he did three times this season. But he was happy he was able to get involved in the game.
“Everyone wants to make plays. It’s hard to get touches,” Kahlig said. “But it was fun. It’s an all-star game. It’s a great atmosphere.”
Kahlig was the fourth UF player to be selected for the game, and he was certainly worthy of the honor after helping the Oilers finish 24-6 and win a third consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship. UF also played in the NCAA tourney for the 12th time in program history.
Kahlig was named the GLIAC Player of the Year and MVP of the GLIAC tourney. He was an All-Midwest Region selection and was named an All-American.
Kahlig led the region in scoring at 24.5 points per game, which was also the fourth-best mark in the nation as he became the first UF player since Greg Denecker in 1993-94 to average 20 or more points in a season.
Kahlig said it’s an honor to be considered one of the best to play for the Oilers.
“It means a lot with all of the great players we’ve had in the history of Findlay basketball,” Kahlig said. “Just to be mentioned up there with those names is special. Its something I can look back on and be proud of.”
Kahlig isn’t done playing basketball just yet. He intends to take his talents to the next level.
“I’m thinking about going overseas, but I’ll talk to my agent and see where it goes,” Kahlig said. “Just to get the opportunity to do it is big because not too many people are blessed with that chance. We’ll see what happens.”
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