Every sport has its own greatest player of all time (G.O.A.T.), but since I’m former basketball player, I want to discuss my favorite sport. There’s no question that Hall of Famer Cheryl Miller is the GOAT on the women’s side. At 6-foot-2, she could shoot, dribble, pass, run the floor and block shots. She dominated at the high school, college and international levels. According to complex.com, she set the California single-game scoring record by putting up 77 points. She later broke that record by dropping 105 points against Norte Vista High School, leading her team to 179-15 victory. At the University of Southern California, she won two national championships (1983 & 1984), was NCAA Tournament MVP both years, had a career 3,018 points and 1,534 rebounds, four-time All-American, three-time Naismith College Player of the Year and led the Trojans to a 112-20 record during her tenure. She still holds multiple records at USC.
She led Team USA to a gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, CA and was drafted by multiple professional teams – the Women’s National Basketball Association did not exist at this time – including a men’s league. However, knee injuries would bring her playing days to an end. She went on to become an assistant, and then later a head coach at USC. Miller led the Trojans to a 42-14 record from 1993-1995, advancing to the NCAA Tournament both seasons. She also served as a WNBA coach and general manager for Phoenix Mercury from 1997-2000. She led the Mercury to a 16-12 record and the WNBA finals. Miller resigned after the 2000 season due to fatigue. She has also served as a sportscaster for TNT, NBA TV, TBS and Turner Sports. She is currently the head women’s coach Langston University, an National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics program in Central Oklahoma. Miller led the team to a 27-3 record during the 2014-2015 season, her inaugural year.
Miller changed the dynamics of the women’s game and played like no other woman. She got her toughness from playing against her two brothers in the backyard, one who would go on to be one of the greatest scorers in National Basketball Association history in Reggie Miller. As great of a player he was, Reggie couldn’t manage to shake the shadow of his big sister. He speaks highly of his sister, claiming “she was king of the block for the guys and girls. She jumped the highest, played the hardest and hit the hardest.” The two lingering questions I have are: what if the WNBA existed in 1984 and what if Cheryl Miller’s knees had stayed healthy? The thought sends chills through my body. Check out the brother-sister rivalry below.