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Lethbridge College international student goes distance for volleyball dream

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International student goes distance for volleyball dream
WATCH: There's a young athlete on the Lethbridge Kodiaks looking to make his mark on the game he loves. And as Brandon Cassidy reports, he's willing to go great lengths to pursue his dream – Jan 25, 2024

Kohlbe Anderson is an international student at Lethbridge College, studying business while playing volleyball for the college team.

“Coming from Delaware, men’s volleyball is just as small as Delaware,” Anderson explained. “Delaware is a super small state and volleyball does not get a lot of rep.”

Recruited to a professional volleyball team right after high school, the drive to become better soon outgrew the team he was on, and it was time for yet another change.

“When I met the assistant coach here, Mathew Primrose, he was one of the only people on that team, to really get to know my story,” Anderson recalled.

Primrose is the lead assistant coach of the Kodiaks varsity volleyball team of Lethbridge College. Primrose was in Philadelphia trying out for another professional team and noticed that Anderson was staying late after practices and free court time to continue honing his skills.

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His work ethic and professionalism caught the eye of the Kodiaks coach.

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“I kind of reached out and said, ‘What about Canada?’ if no one is talking to you or if you want that college experience,” Primrose remembered. “Then offered, you know I have a great program up here in Canada at Lethbridge College to come and play.”

Throughout this life-changing decision, Anderson’s family has been some of his biggest supporters.

“My mom,” Kohlbe laughed. “It didn’t really hit her until two days out, when I had my plane ticket and packed my suitcase, I’m leaving. She’s like dang, you’re really doing it! So yeah they were really supportive.”

In only his rookie season on the Kodiaks, the six-foot-four-inch middle has already made an impact on the community he now calls home from volunteering, helping in the community and sharing his zeal for life — all elements that align with what the college’s varsity program stands for.

“He’s magnetic, right? He’s this big smiley guy who really makes an impact on those around him,” said head coach Greg Gibos “And you know, we went out and played an exhibition game out in Vulcan and it was kind of his coming-out party with the team, his first exhibition game in the community and area.”

“That was also my first time playing in front of a real crowd,” Anderson recalled. “I had never played volleyball in a club in front of honestly more than 20 people. So that was a really, really big moment for me.”

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He remembered with a smile, “Thirteen- and 14-year-old kids come up to me asking for my autograph. I thought it was a joke at first but no, it was real. Something I have a hard time putting it into words.”

“Especially for a rookie and first year athlete,” said Gibos. “It just doesn’t happen.”

Anderson’s reputation on the court has gone beyond the city and he’s being considered for rookie of the year at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.

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