Hannah Sellinger could be considered a master of preparation. The Byron Nelson sophomore guard has been immersed in a detailed summer schedule.
But the major changes coming to the Nelson girls basketball program in 2014-2015 served as the motivation.
Sellinger went through camps at Furman University in South Carolina and TCU. She just concluded a detailed weeklong point guard camp at Texas Woman’s University in Denton. On Wednesday, she’ll be heading to Washington University in St. Louis for a three-day camp.
“I went to these college camps to see where I stand with other players and then start playing at a high level,” Sellinger said. “It was really important to do this because I wanted to do as much as I could for the season.”
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Nelson is about to enter a new era in athletics for two reasons. The school is moving to the Class 6A level. Plus, this group lost a lot of seniors from the 2013-2014 class, including Tralyn Woodard, Madison Edwards, Shaila Wolter, DaKesha Butler and Sydney Smallwood.
That nucleus directed Nelson to the playoffs for three consecutive postseason appearances and earned the program’s first playoff victory last year. The Lady Bobcats beat Birdville.
Sellinger went along for the ride. She gained valuable minutes coming off the bench. She also gained valuable experience being around a veteran team which could understand the inner workings of the program.
Now, Nelson head coach Darren Wilson wants her to take the next step to become one of the leaders of this program. Wilson delivered the message in the offseason.
“He made that clear to me in the spring,” Sellinger said. “He’s thinking two years down the road. I can tell he’s already doing that with the seventh graders. But he wanted me to get ready and become a leader.”
Although she has three varsity seasons to play, the TWU camp offered a preview of what life would be like playing at a higher level. From about 7:30 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. Sellinger spent about one third of her day in the classroom and about half in the gym. Other time was for meals.
Classroom time finished with a notebook filled with pointers, tips, concepts and principles in what it took to becoming a leader. The court put all of that into practice. Court experience is the best teacher.
“It was eating, class and gym, and it was hard,” Sellinger said. “But I got used to it because this about getting to where you want to go. I want to play in college. And I talked to a couple of the players about what their schedules were like. You really have to have self-discipline in a college environment. So this was a great experience.”
Sellinger’s role for 2014-2015 has a ways from being determined. She could play shooting guard to power forward. While she’s feels comfortable with her shooting, there is room to improve taking care of the basketball and footwork.
But the emotions about the upcoming changes have evolved from nervousness to eagerness.
“Her biggest growth is going to be in leadership,” Wilson said. “Alexis Smith, Delaine O’Connell and Hannah are our only returners. We’ll have voids in all areas. While she’ll need to become a consistent defensive stopper, Hannah will provide scoring and lead.”