A school fit for a King-land
Making a big life decision is never easy and finding the right university for academics and athletics makes it even harder, but despite those obstacles Owatonna girls basketball star Sarah Kingland has found the right school for both of her passions. She recently announced she’ll be continuing her academic and athletic career at Minnesota State University-Moorhead (MSU-Moorhead).
She mentioned that there were many reasons why MSU-Moorhead was the right school for her.
“It has a great elementary education program, the size of the school isn’t too big, but it’s located in a large town, and I was given the opportunity to take my basketball skills to the next level,” she said.
In addition to growing her game and MSU-Moorhead’s school size, she said staying relatively close to home was important to her because she didn’t want it to be too much of a hassle to come home for breaks.
Although MSU-Moorhead had a lot of positives, Kingland noted that deciding which school to choose was difficult at first.
“It took a while to make a decision because all the schools I had looked at had great programs for my major, but I ultimately felt most at home at Moorhead and the decision came natural,” she said.
Beyond feeling at home, she noted there were many aspects of the Dragons’ playing style that appealed to her.
“The parts of the program that appealed to me were the philosophies the coaching staff and team had. Also, the movement and pace of play that Moorhead had that allowed me to see myself fitting into the program. I was able to visit the campus and had a one-on-one workout with the coaches,” she said.
Kingland said the MSU-Moorhead took a proactive approach to recruiting her even though she entered the recruiting process later than most of her peers.
“They reached out to me and I was a bit shocked because I didn’t think I was able to get noticed by a Division II school, but I stayed in touch with Coach Nelson and was able to go up for a visit. I then took a couple weeks to visit the rest of the schools I had in mind then made my decision a little bit after that,” she said.
The whole recruiting process became a lot more difficult when COVID-19 hit mainstream America last March, but she was confident there was enough film and media out that coaches were able to see how she could help their team.
Based on her film, she reported that her future coaches saw in her the necessary effort and work ethic to become an even better player.
“The Moorhead coaches had emphasized that they could tell I was one who would give it my all and my work ethic would help me achieve the goals they would need me to reach for me to play at this next level,” Kingland said.
However, before she begins playing at the next level, she has a few more goals she wants to accomplish as a Husky.
“My personal goals for this senior season are to stretch out of my usual tendencies and expand my skill level in games. Team-wise my goal is to have a better flow on offense and crack down on our defensive skills as well as become a transitional team up the court,” she said. “To be successful our team needs to start and finish each game with consistent effort and energy. It will take communication on and off the court and trust between each player to allow us to be a threat in the Big 9 Conference.