CORVALLIS, Ore. – Daine Muller is hanging up his basketball jersey and calling it a career.
The former Billings Skyview star will graduate from Oregon State this spring and retire from basketball after an injury-riddled college career. Muller has battled compartment syndrome in both calves since the end of his high school career, and he was never able to return to the form that led to him earning Montana’s Gatorade Player of the Year honor in 2013.
“My health wasn’t that great, which was frustrating,” Muller said of his decision to retire. “It’s not much fun to play anymore.”
Muller helped Skyview to a third-place finish at the state tournament his senior year of high school in 2013. He averaged 22.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game and scored 39 points in Skyview’s consolation win over Kalispell Glacier at the Class AA state tournament. It was the program’s best finish at state until 2015 when the Falcons won the first of back-to-back titles.
Muller began his college career as a walk-on under coach Wayne Tinkle at Montana. But when Tinkle left the Grizzlies for Oregon State, Muller left, too. He stepped away from basketball and transferred to Montana State to try to “get his health figured out,” according to Tinkle. Muller had a couple procedures performed while he was living in Bozeman and decided to give basketball one more chance and asked Tinkle if he could join him at Oregon State.
Tinkle was happy to bring Muller on board, but Muller would again have to walk on. He enrolled at OSU in 2015 and sat out the 2015-16 season as a transfer under NCAA rules. Prior to the 2015-16 season, though, Tinkle awarded Muller with a one-year scholarship.
“It was really neat, we had a scholarship available at the end of the summer, and we gave that scholarship to (Muller) this year to help relieve a little bit of that burden,” Tinkle told MTN Sports in January. “We told him it was a one-year deal. But he really embodies everything we want out of our guys – be a high-character guy, great student, get involved in the community, and then be unselfish and play your tail off on the court. He’s really key to our program.”
“That’s a tremendous compliment from him,” Muller said. “That’s all I ever tried to be as a player: just work my hardest and get everything right. That’s the way I was raised.”
Muller earned Pac-12 all-academic honors this past season with a 3.83 cumulative grade-point average in kinesiology. He appeared in 21 games, scoring 42 total points, including a career-high nine at Tulsa.
“There’s more to life than basketball, and I’ve kind of slowly realized that over the last couple years,” Muller said. “This time is a lot different than last time (when Muller walked away from basketball at Montana) I feel like. My experience at Oregon State – I’m satisfied, content with the decision.”
Muller will take a vacation to Europe after graduating in May. Once he returns stateside, he’ll begin pursuing a career and applying to graduate schools.