A Michigan native, the fathest Karl Finley had ever been from home was Alaska, when he and the Tiffin University basketball team played in a tournament last winter.
In order to pursue his dream of playing professional basketball, Finley will move to a place even farther away.
The former Dragon, who averaged almost 20 points a game in his 2011-12 senior season, has signed a one-year contract to play with the VFL Stade, a team in Germany.
"My agent, he lives in Germany, and he found a team for me," Finley said. "I've been talking to the coach (Weber Matthias) a little bit, he liked me.
"That was my goal, to eventually play some professional basketball after Tiffin," he said.
Finley showed plenty of talent in his two seasons for the Dragons. A 6-foot-1 guard who was thin, Finley showed quickness and ridiculous jumping ability, as well as turning in a strong jump shot.
Tiffin coach John Hill said he didn't know what to expect when the junior college transfer came to work out for them in 2010.
Finley used up his community college eligibility at Maccomb College, then had a year where he just went to class to get his associates degree. As a result, Hill said Finley was "lost in the radar."
"We hadn't seen him play," Hill said. "We brought him here and worked him out, and after a 15-minute workout, we offered him a full scholarship."
Finley delivered on his potential in his first season. He averaged 14.6 points and more than 5.3 rebounds a game.
But in his second season at TU, Finley started to dominate. He was, along with guard Joe Graessle, the player opposing coaches talked about. In addition to his point totals, he made 37 percent (59 of 138) of his 3-pointers, and his jumping and dunking ability made him a standout.
"His senior year, he came into his own," Hill said. "I mean, everybody tried to bump him, knock him down, tried to get him off his game. But one-on-one basketball, you can't stop him."
With Finley and Graessle leading the way, the Dragons started to win, going 15-14 to post the Dragons' first winning season in six years.
Despite his outstanding season, Finley said he's working to improve before he heads to Germany in August. He has a trainer he's been working with four days a week.
"I know I will have to make some adjustments, but I'm not sure what kind yet," Finley said.
Stade is about a half hour drive from Hamburg. It is coming off a 17-5 season. The Regionalliga is one of a number of leagues in Germany. There also is the BBL, ProA and ProB.
"My expectations are to play like I did here, try to do even better," Finley said. "Eventually move up to a better team."
Hill said he expects Finley to be successful.
"It's different because of the language," Hill said. "If he can get by that, he'll be fine."
Finley is the second player Hill coached who will have played overseas professionally. Steve Sahle, who played for Hill at Heidelberg, played in Europe in 1980.