Back to full health: SDSU returns the versatile Selland after missing most of last season
BROOKINGS -- Myah Selland returned home this offseason.
The Letcher native went back to her roots, playing one-on-one with her older sister, Shelby, in the family barn. They played pick-up games like when growing up, and as Myah dealt with a foot injury that kept her out of most of her junior season, Shelby was there for her to lean on.
Shelby, a former standout at Augustana University, could relate to sitting out a season and overcoming an injury. She redshirted her freshman season, and then tore her ACL as a senior.
Now, with Myah entering her redshirt-junior season after being granted a medical hardship for the 2019-20 season, Shelby was there by her side.
“My sister got to move home, so kind of got to go back to the place where I fell in love with the game,” Selland said. “Went back and played some pick-up games in the barn with Shelby like the good old days. It was fun to go back home and find that love again for basketball.”
“She’s someone I’ve always looked up to and always seems to have the answers I don’t,” Selland later said. “I definitely leaned on her a lot during that time.”
The return of Myah Selland is a boost for South Dakota State University. Even as she mentioned multiple times the team-oriented playstyle coach Aaron Johnston has installed, the Jackrabbits lost its most versatile player last year. The former all-Summit League honorable mention forward averaged 13.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game in nine starts last season.
Her return gives SDSU more options on the offensive end due to her shooting, passing and playmaking, but equally as many on the defensive side, too.
“Myah is as versatile as any player we’ve had,” Johnston said. “... She’s the kind of player we have to find a lot of ways to have her involved. As we practice and go back and watch practice on film, when she’s involved in plays, they’re just a little bit better. That doesn’t mean we’re going to design everything around Myah, but we need to find ways to showcase her talents.”
The rest of the Summit League knows her impact, too. The SDSU captain was named to the preseason all-conference first team. But now, the rest of the conference will be seeing her as healthy as she’s been since arriving in Brookings.
“It’s hard to call Myah Selland a new face, but getting her back in the lineup is a huge lift for everybody,” Johnston said. “She’s a really talented leader. She’s a talented player. I think anybody who watches her play this year gets a chance to see Myah Selland healthy for maybe the first time in several years.”
Selland will get a challenge right away during the Jackrabbits’ loaded non-conference slate. SDSU hosts No. 15 Iowa State at 2 p.m. today in the season opener. It also hosts Creighton and No. 21 Gonzaga, while traveling to Kansas State.
SDSU received three votes in the preseason AP Poll, though in-state rival University of South Dakota is two spots out of being ranked. The Coyotes defeated SDSU, 63-58, in the Summit League tournament championship last season, which still looms in the Jackrabbits’ mind.
“It was a tough way to end the year last year, with the championship and also the season just ended so abruptly,” Selland said. “It’s been kind of a motivator to see where we want to be at the end of the season. I think we’ve had a good attitude coming into this long preseason.”