Selland playing key role early for Jackrabbits
BROOKINGS — Myah Selland — who from hails from little Letcher — has adjusted nicely to big-time college basketball.
The South Dakota State University freshman women's basketball player is starting for the Jackrabbits, who have held their own against some stiff competition this season. SDSU has played in Washington D.C., Green Bay, Wisconsin and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Jacks have also hosted traditional powers Louisville and Oklahoma at Frost Arena this year.
And through it all, Selland has played a key role for the Jackrabbits as she's living her college basketball dream in her home state.
"I grew up watching teams like Louisville and to be able to come here — stay close to home and be able to play Louisville in Frost Arena — it's kind of indescribable," said Selland, a former Sanborn Central/Woonsocket standout. "It's a pretty neat deal and to be able to compete like we competed, is really fun. It's been a really good start to the season."
The Jackrabbits are 8-3, with quality wins over George Washington, North Carolina State, Charlotte and Oklahoma. Selland is averaging 7.8 points and 4.8 rebounds for SDSU, which is ranked No. 2 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll.
"It's always fun to be able to play with some talented girls and we all get along so well," Selland said. "It's just so much fun to play with girls like that and play in a system where things are just running really well for us right now."
So what's allowed Selland to flourish in her first season?
"It just has a lot to do with the program and the style of play that we have here," the 6-foot-2 forward said. "The way we run things just allows every player to kind of showcase their certain talents in a way that can help the team the best way. That's just been really helpful for me coming in as a freshman and still kind of learning the ropes. To be able to play in that kind of a system is super nice."
Selland didn't set any expectations on herself this season, but rather focused on fulfilling her role for the star-studded Jacks, who also feature Mitchell native Macy Miller, sharpshooter Madison Guebert and 1,000-point scorer Ellie Thompson.
"I knew coming into the season that we could be a very successful team and have a very good year," said Selland, an exercise science major. "I just wanted to do whatever was needed of me to kind of fill that role to help us be as successful as we could be. That was just kind of my goal coming into the year."
Selland has been steady through the year, but her breakthrough moment happened in Fort Lauderdale when the Jacks upset then-No. 23 North Carolina State University. Against the Wolfpack, Selland netted a career-high 20 points and nailed four 3-pointers as the Jacks beat the Atlantic Coastal Conference team, 75-67. Selland scored SDSU's first 11 points of the game and went 3-for-3 from long range in the opening minutes.
"I got a couple threes to go early and it lets you play a little loose and it was good to see a couple of those shots go," Selland said. "It was a little bit of a confidence booster for me throughout the year, but I think it was just a great team win for us to be able to knock off your competition like that."
Selland added the Division I competition is bigger and faster.
"The speed of the game is much faster and I think that's kind of something that I've had to adjust to," she said.
Eleven games into her college career, the Letcher native seems to be adjusting just fine.
The Jacks play Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday.