Senior guard Shaelyn Martin is headed to Salina to continue her academic and athletic career at Kansas Wesleyan University, a private school whose athletics teams compete in the NAIA.
Martin, who has one year of eligibility left, is switching sports too. She will play volleyball for the Coyotes.
“It’s a great volleyball program back at home and a great atmosphere and great community support there,” Martin said. “It kind of made the decision pretty easy.”
She said playing volleyball at some point was always a part of the plan.
“Going into college, I had always thought about using that fifth year for volleyball,” Martin said. “It’s a sport that I do not think most people realize I love as much as I do. Basketball always came first for me, but I’ve always enjoyed volleyball.”
While K-State fans know her for her talent at basketball, Martin is no stranger to the volleyball court. She was Second Team All-State twice in high school at Salina Central, according to K-State Sports. Martin also ran track in high school.
“Volleyball, basketball and track were my three core sports starting in third and fourth grade,” Martin said. “My mom was a volleyball coach growing up, so at a very young age I would do drills with the high school team she coached.”
Martin plans to graduate from K-State in May with a degree in kinesiology and will pursue an master’s in business administration at KWU before heading off to occupational therapy school.
“Having the opportunity to play and get my MBA in one year is going to be a good use for my year off,” Martin said, adding air quotes around “year off.”
Martin has attended school and played basketball in Manhattan for four years now. She started in games all of those years, including all 33 in her freshman year and all 32 in her sophomore year. She averaged 27 minutes per game over her career.
She grew up dreaming of playing basketball at K-State, as she said following K-State’s senior day victory over in-state rival Kansas.
“When you are that little girl and you want to play somewhere, to actually be able to do it has been one of the best experiences of my life,” Martin said after beating Kansas 91-67.
Martin scored seven points and pulled down 10 rebounds in her 30 minutes of play in the rivalry game.
For Martin, KWU was ultimately the right choice and the only one she really wanted.
“If I was going to play, I was going to play back at home,” Martin said. “It was not a thing where I wanted to be recruited by a lot of people and have my choice, it was just — I wanted to have some fun and have a fun time with a great staff.”