Teaching and Hooping
By SCOTT BAKER
For The Express
Gentle giant off the court and monster on it. The 2010 Central Mountain High School graduate and standout big man basketball player, Harley Sellinger is still hooping.
Sellinger, originally from the Blanchard area is currently living and teaching in South Korea where he also participates in a top level three-on-three league.
Actually, he is doing much more than simply participating, in fact, he is excelling. He and three teammates travel around Korea playing in the KXO three-on-three Pro League. They have not finished below fourth place in any of the tournaments that they have competed in, which in turn has given them the opportunity to acquire several sponsors.
Sellinger’s team, whose main sponsor is Rigorer Korea, provides them with uniforms and other gear. However, they also have coffee, luggage and cell phone companies among others sponsoring them to help cover their expenses. Most recently, in a tournament two weeks ago, Rigoror won the championship and Harley was named MVP.
Harley says that what he most enjoys in addition to the opportunity to compete against different teams on a regular basis in the three-on-three league is, “How kind all of the other players are. The sportsmanship among everybody is great.” Something he most likely appreciates because he is in fact one of those types of players as well.
After a successful career at Central Mountain where he established himself as the school’s all-time leading shot blocker, Sellinger went on to successfully play four years at Susquehanna University.
It was at Susquehanna that he took his game to a new level. On campus everyday, he got to work on developing both his huge frame as well as his basketball skills. A tireless worker, his efforts paid off.
A 6’6″ big man, he became a starter during his freshmen season and would hold that distinction for the remainder of his time in the Crusader (now River Hawks) program. Harley was named the Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year for the 2010-2011 season. During the 2011-2012 campaign, he was selected second team all conference and then garnered first team honors in 2013-2014. Additionally, he finished his career as a member of the 1000-point club, while also finishing with 700 rebounds.
Sellinger was and is not just an athlete though. He has always been a high academic. As an academic, he majored in Spanish at Susquehanna where he received his Bachelors of Arts Degree in 2014. Always one for multiple languages, he is currently teaching English in South Korea at Yuengjin University. There he teaches his native language to students of all ages from elementary to college professors.
His students are from multiple countries as well. “Big Country” says of his time in Korea, “I have been living in South Korea now for three and a half years. It’s crazy how fast the time has gone by. Although, as life goes, there have been many ups and downs to living and working in a foreign country. My favorite thing is the students. They are always so interested in learning about where I come from and me. They also are always curious as to why I am so tall and they constantly want to touch my beard. They make my time here worth it. To add to working here, I am also living life to the fullest. I have road tripped all over Korea. I have been able to travel to multiple other countries. It has been an amazing experience.”
While teaching English, Sellinger is also in the process of obtaining a Masters Degree in teaching English as a second language. His hope is that once that mission is completed sometime in early 2021 if not a bit earlier, he will find a position teaching university aged students full-time. Preferably that would be somewhere in Europe but he says that he is open to considering opportunities elsewhere should they arise.
Asked what his desires are in terms of continuing his playing career, he stated, “The dream is always to play as a true professional. If I were ever given the opportunity to be signed to a team anywhere overseas, I would do it in a heartbeat. For now though, I am content with making a few extra bucks with my 3 on 3 family.”
Teaching, competing, traveling, a combination providing joy and reward for Harley Sellinger and assuredly those with which he is associated.
For those who know him from his days here at CM it’s with pleasure and ease that we say, “keep barking Big Dog!”