Myah Selland nears return for South Dakota State women’s basketball

Selland suffered a season-ending knee injury on Feb. 19, 2021, but is approaching her return to the court as basketball season gets rolling at South Dakota State.

South Dakota State University's Myah Selland poses for a photo on the bleachers on her family's basketball court in the top portion of the family barn in Letcher this past summer. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Matt Gade

BROOKINGS — When Myah Selland suffered a season-ending knee injury on Feb. 19, 2021, that required surgery, the South Dakota State women’s basketball standout set out on a long rehabilitation journey to get back to the court.

Now, 8 1/2 months later, the Letcher native is closing in on her return to the hardwood, though the specifics remain uncertain with less than a week before the Jackrabbits tip off the 2021-22 campaign on Nov. 9.

“There’s no real timeline, no date when she’ll be back,” explained coach Aaron Johnston. “You don’t really get a date. There’s not a finish line. You cross off daily hurdles and steps until it feels well enough to go and you're ready. We don’t think that’s too far off, but I don’t know that she’ll be playing full-out in practice either, so we’re somewhere in between those two statements.”

Prior to the injury, Selland was in the middle of her best individual campaign as a Jackrabbit. Her 19.2 points per game led the Summit League, while she posted top-six marks in the conference for average rebounds, assists and steals per game along with field goal percentage and free throw percentage.

The redshirt junior forward’s goal throughout the rehabilitation process was to get back to where she was or, perhaps, be even better than at the time of the injury. While she’s not quite there yet, Selland is doing her best to remain patient as she prepares for her return to the court.


“There have obviously been a lot of challenges,” Selland said. “Initially, just overcoming the emotions of the situation and then once we got a plan going, had surgery and were on a good rehab track, it’s just been finding ways to get better every day. It’s obviously very slow progress, but you get to see little milestones along the way and celebrate them. I feel really good and things are going well. I’m just staying patient here for the last little stretch, but I’m excited to play again.”

South Dakota State University's Myah Selland poses for a photo on her family's basketball court in the top portion of the family's barn this past summer. The Letcher native and Sanborn Central alum will be a key figure for the Jackrabbits this season. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Matt Gade

While injuries are never a welcomed sight, there’s a silver lining to the timing of Selland’s injury. Selland says she “kind of lucked out” and is set to benefit from the NCAA’s decision to grant an extra year of eligibility to student-athletes in fall and winter sports during 2020-21, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on those sports seasons.

The extra eligibility not only benefits Selland, who is entering her fifth season with the program but has two years of eligibility remaining, but the Jackrabbits were to bring back all five starters, including two seniors, from a 2020-21 campaign in which SDSU went 21-4 and a perfect 14-0 in conference regular season play.

“I’m really excited to see what we can do this year, especially with the season we had and what we were able to accomplish last year,” Selland said. “Maybe it didn't end the way we wanted it to, but we have another shot and it’s exciting to have the same group and we get to add two really exciting freshmen into that mix.”

For Selland, the knee injury that ended her season in February was the latest in a series of injuries that limited her to nine games the season prior and caused her to miss significant time as a freshman in 2017-18. So when the time does come for Selland to suit up again, she expects the emotions to center around gratitude, as she’s been given another chance to compete despite the setbacks.

“I think it’ll be an appreciation for the opportunity to do it,” Selland said of taking the court again. “I obviously love SDSU, I love basketball, I love who I play with and I love everything about the situation. To have no years lost and still get two more years to play to be a Jackrabbit is really special to me.”


As for the on-court product, expectations have already started to mount for Selland even though she’ll likely miss time early in the season. She made her fourth straight appearance on a preseason all-Summit League team in addition to being tabbed as the Summit preseason Player of the Year. On the national level, she was named to watch lists for the Cheryl Miller Small Forward of the Year, as well as the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year, an award for which she was a semifinalist last season.

While that much attention can cause undue pressure, especially for someone coming off of injury, Johnston is focused on Selland playing the most complete season she can, and feels confident she’ll perform when called upon.

“I think when she returns people are going to see someone who looks really, really ready to go,” Johnston said. “I don’t see it being weeks and weeks before she feels comfortable. I think she’ll jump in pretty quick when it’s time.”

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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