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DECATUR — Grant Karsten rewrote LSA's basketball record books. 

The senior's 1,901 career points set a new school record and he also holds Lions' records for the most points in the game (36) and in a season (789).  On Thursday, Karsten announced his college choice — NCAA Division III's Concordia College of Wisconsin, where he'll continue his basketball career. 

"It's really cool being able to have the accomplishments that I have had and going (to LSA) my entire life since third grade," Karsten said. "It means a lot to be able to accomplish that stuff.

"Concordia was a really good fit overall. The basketball team looks good and the school was good. When I visited there it was awesome and it's the best place for me and my future."

LSA basketball coach Tom Saunches said he's never coached a player quite like Karsten. 

"I started the year saying that Grant was the best shooter that I have ever coached," Saunches said. "As a coach I was never really in the position before where I could say 'Throw it to Grant' and he would deliver. There was not a time he left the locker room or any timeout that he didn't have something positive to say to everyone. Maybe something as simple as, 'Let's finish this game,' and he never showed frustration. Poise is a word I often use for Grant."

While Karsten stood out in basketball and football — he led the Lions in tackles and receiving yards last season — his influence on LSA is more than sports. 

"The impact is so much more than on the court and on the field," LSA athletic director Kurt Younghouse said "(Grant) has an overall 4.0 GPA and the impact goes on into the relationships in the hallway and in the class room.

"He has a quiet leadership. I always think of Tony Dungy's quiet strength and I see that in this young man. He's the most well-rounded young man I have had an opportunity to teach and coach."

Karsten continues a family tradition that is steeped in basketball. 

"I played in college, my brother played in college, my dad played in college but I told him that you should do this because you want to do this -- not for us," Grant's father Kyle Karsten said. "I'm so proud today, that Grant is known for more than the point scorer but as a kid of character — that warms a dad's heart. I'm so excited that Grant is so excited about Concordia." 

Concordia College of Wisconsin is a part of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference that also includes Concordia College of Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology and Rockford University, and Grant is optimistic about getting some playing time with the Falcons in his freshman year.

"They graduated three senior guards so maybe there is a chance that I could play and that would be really cool. But there is still a lot of work I need to do before then," he said. 

Karsten recently participated in the 3-point contest at the Class 1A state basketball tournament and he has at least one more high school basketball game to look forward to — the Little Okaw Valley Conference All-Star game on March 23. 

"It will be cool to play with the guys I have been competing against the last couple of years and to have some fun one more time," he said.

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Contact Matthew Flaten at (217) 421-6968. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFlaten

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Reporter

Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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