Myah Selland earns prestigious award

SDSU senior recognized for leadership, first athlete to win in school’s history

Masa Scheierman, Reporter

What does South Dakota State’s Myah Selland have in common with Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow and Pat Summitt? They’re all winners of the Coach Wooden Citizen Cup.

Only six athletes are chosen for this prestigious award each year: two in high school, two in college and two professionals. Athletes who win display the best character, teamwork and citizenship along with acquiring excellence both on and off the field.

They are role models as performers and people. To put the award in perspective, over 570,000 athletes are participating in collegiate sports, according to the Athletes Agency. Selland, a redshirt senior with the SDSU women’s basketball team, was nominated as one of two collegiate winners this year and is the first athlete from South Dakota State to win this award.

The award was announced last month. While Selland’s community service throughout Brookings is one of the reasons she was given this award, her new organization, Her Turn, which she co-founded with her teammate, Tori Nelson, was another big factor in being selected as the winner.

“This award is a special award, and it’s a national stage, so getting to share more about Her Turn on that kind of level is exciting for us,” Selland said. “Hopefully as people continue to learn more about it, they’ll want to support it.”

The journey to earning this achievement began with an email that was sent to Megan Glover, assistant director/communications for the women’s basketball team. After reading about the award, the nomination process and the required criteria, Glover got permission from the administration to nominate Selland.

Athletes for a Better World, the organization that sponsors the award, was instantly impressed with Selland’s application.

“Myah achieved the highest pinnacles of athletic, academic and civic achievement, plus represents an individual who shows great life balance,” Brad Catherman, executive director for the organization, said.

Jackrabbit coach Aaron Johnston recently highlighted Selland’s accomplishments off the court on the Jackrabbit Sports Network podcast.

“The work that (Myah) and Tori did with Her Turn and that citizenship and giving back to the community and helping grow young people and shape young people is remarkable,” Johnston said. “She really didn’t work hard for the award but worked hard in her life to be at this point to be recognized for this award.”

Her Turn is a nonprofit organization that grants scholarships to girls in the Brookings community to participate in sporting camps. The idea of starting an organization like this began when Selland and Nelson talked about the platform they hold as athletes on the SDSU campus.

They wanted to share their passion and love for sports with other girls. One conversation led to the next, which led to the launch of Her Turn in February 2022. Since then, girls have been given scholarships for the chance to participate in an SDSU summer college camp of their choosing. 

Those who attended camp also received the proper gear required for that sport. They are invited back to watch the sport they participated in during the summer, free of charge. 

The impact Her Turn has had on Selland will stay with her for a lifetime.

“It’s been really fulfilling just to see the kind of experiences that our campers have been able to have,” Selland said. “And it takes us back to when we were their age and how important sports were for us growing up.”

Parents of the girls who have been selected for the Her Turn scholarships loved the positive impact it has had on their girls.

“My daughter had a great time at camp,” one parent said. “We would never have been able to send her to soccer camp without Her Turn.”

Another parent added that it was an experience that her daughter will remember for a long time, and that she came home from the camp excited about volleyball.

“It was her first overnight camp, and she made connections and new friends that she maybe wouldn’t normally interact with while at school,” the parent said. “This was a great thing for her confidence, and to give her something to be excited for. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Her Turn gave my daughter.”

When Selland isn’t busy with Her Turn, she is filling up the stat sheet, averaging 16.1 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting above 50% from the field this season. The Jackrabbits host St. Thomas this coming Thursday and celebrate Title IX Saturday when they compete against Western Illinois.

To some, balancing school and basketball with community service and running Her Turn can appear stressful and overwhelming. But to Selland, this is her stress reliever.

“It’s been so much fun to work on Her Turn, so it’s never really been like an added job or responsibility,” Selland said. “You can set basketball or school work aside and just enjoy what you’re working on.”

To learn more about Selland and Nelson’s foundation or to donate, you can check out their website at for more information.