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Good Works of Westmont’s Karlie Storkson Go Rewarded

Westmont College senior Karlie Storkson was named to the 2016 Allstate Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Good Works Team.

Ten student-athletes were chosen from a list of 103 nominees for the team; five from NCAA Division I and five from NCAA Divisions II, III and the NAIA. Storkson was the sole NAIA student-athlete to receive this honor.

This distinguished award recognizes college basketball athletes for their off-the-court accomplishments as they spend their limited free time giving back to their communities and bettering the lives of others all over the world.

Karie Storkson of Westmont is honored for her volunteer work in Africa and in her community.
Karie Storkson of Westmont is honored for her volunteer work in Africa and in her community.

“I think honestly that this award is the best award the WBCA gives,” said Westmont coach Kirsten Moore, “because it really honors something so much  bigger than the game — teaching our student athletes how to be good citizens and how to have a positive impact on their communities. As a Christian college, our mission is to serve and shine the love of God to other people, so I am really grateful that Karlie has led in that way for us for four years. “

“All of her off-the-court time has been spent giving back to others, between two mission trips to Africa in two of her past three summers and her service in the campus community as a leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the past three years,” Moore added.

“It is both exciting and fun to receive this honor,” said Storkson. “I didn’t expect anything like that because I don’t necessarily do the things I do to receive an award of any sort. I am just trying to do what I feel like God has called me to do and that is to serve others,  whether that be through FCA or through mission work trying to help those that are less privileged."

Most recently, Storkson served as a leader in organizing and fundraising for Westmont Women’s Basketball’s mission trip to Africa in the summer of 2015. Since returning from the trip, Storkson and the rest of the team have  raiseed funds to purchase cows to start a dairy in a Ugandan village near Gulu. So far, their efforts have resulted in the purchase of four cows.

Storkson reflected on basketball as a platform for ministry and as a tool for connecting with diverse people in meaningful ways.

“Basketball has been a great mission field for me because it is a way you can connect with people on a different level — you are a team, you are together all the time, you get to do life together and that leaves room for good conversations to happen and opens up doors to be able to invest in people’s lives. I would not have been friends with a lot of people on my team if it wasn’t for basketball, so it has been an incredible opportunity to get to know them. That is also what FCA has been, only broader than just my own team.”

In addition to the Westmont team’s trip to Africa, Storkson participated in a mission trip to Uganda and Rwanda in the summer of 2013 with ERM Rwanda and Beacon of Hope/Pilgrim Africa in Uganda. She served in the Run to Win sports camps, which is a sports ministry in the greater Puget Sound area that included camps in underprivileged areas, and volunteered as an assistant coach for the Kings High School girls basketball team in the summers of 2014 and 2015.

“Sports ministry is something that I am super interested in because of our trip to Africa this last summer,” continued Storkson. “Basketball can be used as a connecting point because it is a language that people from totally different backgrounds can both speak. They can become friends and invest in each other’s lives in ways that would not have been possible before.”

In addition to playing on two NAIA semifinal teams and playing on the 2013 National Championship team, Storkson is also a two-time NAIA Outdoor Track and Field All-American in the 4 x 400 meter relay. She is currently a team captain for the women’s basketball team and plans on finishing out her college athletics career as a member of the track and field team.

Storkson will graduate in May with a Bachelors of Arts degree in both Religious Studies and Sociology.

“I am so thankful for the WBCA and that Karlie is being recognized on a national level,” said Moore. “It is about being a student and an athlete, but it is also about being leaders in our community and serving others and she has done that in her four years, and I am thrilled that she is representing Westmont college in that way.”

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