She’s just a girl from a small town who made it in this big world.
In the small town of Exira, there is a girl who dreamed of being successful in this world. Her name was Hallie Christofferson and her big dream was to play basketball at the highest level. It was a daunting task for someone who grew up in a city of less than 800 people. It was going to take twice as much work to be noticed by the major Division I schools across the country.
Hallie started playing basketball in fourth grade. Coming from a sports-oriented family, Hallie was very competitive and had three older siblings who all played sports. However, it wasn’t until college that Hallie and her teammates realized they were very good.
“I was very lucky to have a great team,” said Hallie. “We were always one of the best teams growing up, we went to tournaments and we win tournaments. That’s when we started to realize that we were good and that we had the potential to do better things.
Eventually, that dream would come true as Hallie’s team qualified for the State Championship game under Hallie’s leadership.
Exira Vikings head basketball coach Tom Petersen had been in Exira since Hallie was in elementary school. For the first time under Petersen, the team was fortunate enough to have a post player who was over six feet tall. For Iowa’s smaller women’s sports class, this is something that would give the team an edge. From Hallie’s first year, she immediately made an impact with Petersen guiding her along the way.
“It was the first time we had a player over six feet tall, so I wanted to stress our kids and I wanted our offense to go through her. What we ended up doing was changing a lot of our base games to make sure everything goes through it from an offensive standpoint, ”said Petersen. “From a defensive standpoint, we were able to do a lot more because of his athleticism and his length. We could extend our half court because of its quality indoors. “
Training helped Hallie, but she was also one of the hardest working players Petersen had ever coached. This helped the team immensely and they eventually found their way to the state tournament. One of their goals since growing up playing basketball. However, the team didn’t just make the state tournament – they made the state championship game in Exira’s last school year.
Her teammate Courtney Peppers said Hallie has a great work ethic.
“Hallie was an extremely hard worker,” said Peppers. “She always put in extra time in the gym. She had a goal and she went out of her way to make sure she stayed on the course.
This work ethic has rubbed off on the team and is very evident as the team advanced to the championship game in Hallie’s final year.
In the championship game, the Vikettes were tied 55-55 with almost 10 seconds left when coach Petersen called out a game the team knew well. Someone takes the ball out and throws it across the half court to Hallie on the half court. According to Hallie, this was something they had been working on all the time in practice. Hallie would then throw him onto the field to a guard for a layup. However, not everything went as planned during the game.
“So when the Court[ney Peppers] was supposed to bring him to me at the center, he somehow moved and Chelsea Nelson got him and knew where he was supposed to go, ”Hallie said. “Because we had practiced so many times, she actually passed it on to Ann (a former teammate).”
The layup circled around but eventually fell through the basket and the Vikettes did. They had won the state championship in Exira’s last season. Emotions ran high after Hallie and the team had finally reached their goal.
“I don’t think I could believe it. I started jumping up and down and I think there’s a picture of me in the air pumping, ”Hallie said. “I don’t know what happened after that because I had probably lost sight of it because the memory was so good.”
It would be the last game for everyone on the squad except Hallie. Hallie had a highly decorated career playing high school basketball. Hallie started every high school basketball game from first to last grade; she was also the first all-conference team every year she was in high school.
Hallie was also a member of the State First Team for two consecutive years during his junior and senior seasons. She has also scored over 2,000 points during her high school career and is one of five people to do so in Iowa five out of five girls basketball. All of that was enough for Hallie to keep playing the game and made her decide to take her talent to Iowa State University.
Hallie would redshirt her first year of school at ISU but would open her career the following year as the Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Iowa State would also participate in the NCAA tournament every year Hallie played for the Cyclones and advance to the 32nd finals in his junior season. She had a good career in Iowa State and at the end of her college career she would get a chance at the next level, the WNBA.
Hallie was invited to off-season training for the Phoenix Mercury and was trying to prove that she was capable of playing at the next level. Despite all of her hard work, her WNBA career will be short-lived as she was cut before the end of the offseason. However, his professional career was not over. Hallie would go abroad to play in Austria, and in her first and final years in the Austrian league, Hallie would be named MVP.
After that, she would change leagues and end up playing in a basketball club in Greece. Sadly, Hallie would decide it would be the last season of her career. Hallie retired in 2016 after her first year in Greece and her third year in Europe.