New documentary spotlights UM coach Selvig and Lady Griz
The University of Montana women’s basketball documentary ”The House That Rob Built,” co-directed by Jonathan Cipiti and UM alum Megan Harrington will be available nationwide Feb. 23.
The documentary chronicles the inspiring story of Rob Selvig, pioneering coach of the University of Montana’s Lady Griz basketball team. In an era when gender discrimination in sports was the norm, Coach Selvig built a house of inclusion and empowerment by recruiting female athletes from the ranches, farms and Native reservations of Big Sky country. For nearly 40 years, these athletes would establish the preeminent women’s basketball program west of the Rockies.
“With everything going on in the world today, I’m thrilled Montanans can watch our film in the comfort of their own homes,” said Harrington, the film’s co-director and former Lady Griz player. Harrington, now based in Los Angeles, spent the last four years making the film.
The movie also shares the stories of former Lady Griz players who came to the UM to play Division I basketball and went on to have a successful career after college.
“To think that we were all from small towns, reservations, small ranch towns, is pretty, pretty amazing,” said Malia Kipp of Browning who played for the Lady Griz on a Division I scholarship from 1992 to 1996.
According to Kipp, resources and opportunities were limited on the reservation, but everyone had basketball. Coach Selvig fostered talent across the state.
“I grew up in small town America where the big ticket was the women’s basketball game and I owe my opportunities to the women who blazed the trail for me and countless others, as well as Rob,” Harrington said, “for believing in the greatness of women athletes from the very beginning. Accumulating 865 wins in general, let alone at one school, is unbelievable.”
Selvig is no. 10 in the line-up for the most winning coaches in women’s basketball, touting a .752 winning percentage. Among the 10, he is the only one not in the women’s college basketball Hall of Fame.
The film premiered at the 2020 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and is produced by Family Theater Productions in association with Windrider Productions, Five-Star Basketball x RTG Features, with distribution from 1091 Pictures.
Pre-order for the film is available now, with a full release on Feb. 23. For more information, visit thehousethatrobbuiltmovie.com.