Former Seton Hall Pirate Haralds Karlis took the next step in his basketball career on Tuesday, signing with BK Valmiera, a basketball club in the Latvian Basketball League as well as the Baltic Basketball League.
Karlis, a 2015 graduate, will be returning to his home country of Latvia to play for Valmiera, a club that has had recent success; the team has won the Latvian Basketball League bronze medal three times.
“I am very delighted that we have reached an agreement on my accession,” Karlis said in a Valmiera press release. “I appreciate the club’s serious commitment to the objectives of basketball.”
Karlis, 24, has represented Latvia before, playing in the U-16 and U-20 European Championships. The guard will also play on the Latvian national team in this year’s European Championships, which will host a group games tournament in Riga.
The 6-foot-6-inch graduate is the first Pirate out of the 2015 class to sign professionally. In the 2014-15 season, Karlis played in 27 games for the Hall. He earned five starts, four of which came against Big East opponents. The senior guard recorded career-best percentages of .459 from the field and .386 percent from downtown, including a .500 mark in conference play. Karlis averaged 7.8 points and 2.2 assists per contest over the last five games for the Blue and White, playing at least 25 minutes in each.
Karlis said that the chance to play under Valmiera head coach Ainars Zvirgzdiņa’s was one of the factors that led to him signing with the team. He also mentioned being able to play alongside an old friend.
“I would also add that I have not played with Aigars Skele for about seven years – the last time we’ve played together was in the youth league,” Karlis said. “We will be a good complement to each other.”
With the signing Karlis joins a select group of Seton Hall basketball players who have gone pro. Karlis will become the first player from Seton Hall University to ever play professionally in Latvia, as well as the 26th player to ever play professional basketball out of the Hall.
Karlis will join two other former collegiate players on BK Valmiera – Justin Hurtt (Tulsa 2007-10) and Sam Dower (Gonzaga 2010-14).
Charlie Mule can be reached at Charles.firstname.lastname@example.org.