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Prep boys' basketball: College offers humble Seljaas

Published June 19, 2013 2:42 pm

Prep boys' basketball • Seljaas averaged 15 points per game as a sophomore.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Zac Seljaas isn't old enough to drive yet, but that hasn't stopped the Bountiful basketball sensation from steering his own course for college.

Seljaas' play already has begun attracting the attention of college coaches. Utah State and BYU offered him scholarships in consecutive days last week, with more expected to come.

"I'm pretty humbled by it," the 6-foot-7 swingman said. "It's been a fun experience. Utah State told me they would offer me, but I didn't think it would come this fast. Then BYU offered me. It says that everything I worked for has paid off."

Seljaas, who just completed his sophomore year, averaged 15 points, four rebounds and three assists per game last season, earning second-team all-state honors. He made 49 3-pointers in helping the Braves reach the Class 4A semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Sky View in overtime. Bountiful won Region 6 (10-0) and went 21-4 overall.

Braves coach Mike Maxwell credits Seljaas, 15, as one of the hardest working players he has coached in his 24 years at the school.

"He's just a young kid still learning the game, but he's a terrific player with great range," Maxwell said. "He's got a motor that doesn't quit; he keeps after it. He's going to be a terrific player down the road. I love his work ethic."

Seljaas has basketball in his bloodlines. His father, Gary, played at BYU-Hawaii. His sister, Nancy Seljaas Warner, played at BYU and coached Springville's girls' basketball team to the 4A state championship last season.

While Seljaas knows BYU's program well, he doesn't think it will have a huge influence on his decision. He plans to see what other offers come in, and he hasn't set a timetable for choosing one. After all, he still has two years of high school left.

"However long it takes, I want to make the right decision," Seljaas said. "I want to see how I fit into the program and what academics they have. These next two years, I can show what other stuff I can do."

Maxwell thinks the best might be yet to come for his pupil.

"I don't think he's through getting offered," Maxwell said. "He's still only 15 years old. He'll give himself time to see what's out there and what's best for him. But you don't want to wait forever, either. He's in the process."

Seljaas, who scored in double figures in 22 of 25 games, undoubtedly wowed scouts with his 29-point effort against Denver East at the Great Western Shootout in Orem. Seljaas made eight 3-pointers in that game. Bountiful also lost to Bingham and American Fork in preseason, but he averaged 13 points in those games.

His combination of size — he grew 3 inches in the past year — and shooting range (up to 25 feet) makes him an attractive prospect.

"I've improved in everything," Seljaas said. "I have better size over my opponent and can shoot over them and even get rebounds. I just had more opportunities. I have to keep improving everything to play at the next level."

Instead of mulling over his decision this summer, Seljaas is doing what he does best — play basketball. He plays for the Utah Prospects' 16-U AAU team with fellow up-and-comers Brock Miller of Brighton and Jesse Wade of Davis.

The Prospects won a tournament in Las Vegas, lost in the semifinals in another event in Kansas and lost in the championship game in Dallas. The team will compete in tournaments in Milwaukee and Las Vegas next month.

"He lives in the gym, that's what he wants to do," Maxwell said. "He wants to eat up everything he can. He's a coach's dream, really."