Cheryl Miller's perfect place: At a tiny HBCU, a basketball legend is coaching again
Posted By: Elynor Moss on December 04, 2014 |
When Cheryl Miller was still young enough that she could only dream about being one of the greatest basketball players in the world, her mother, Carrie Miller, rarely got to see her play. Cheryl's mother would take her younger brother, Reggie Miller, to his game, and Cheryl's father, Saul Miller, would take Cheryl to hers. "And that was fun in the beginning," Cheryl said, "but my mom was always missing out on watching me play." That didn't mean her mother missed out on hearing what happened in Cheryl's games, though. After each game Carrie missed she'd wait until Cheryl took a shower and got dressed for bed. "She'd sit there by my bedside and have me just go over the game, just tell her about it. I think I never got to the fourth quarter. I never got to the fourth because I'd fall asleep." But Cheryl could always hear her mother's soft farewell just before completely dozing off. "Goodnight, Pearl," she'd say.
"Truly my heart and soul, my mom was."
* * *
To find Cheryl Miller now, you have to know where to look. Langston University is about 10 miles farther off the interstate than most people are willing to go. Those that do usually aren't looking for the women's basketball game. They're not looking for the football game, either. Most are just looking for the Marching Pride's halftime show. This is not a school with a budding athletic tradition or a football team that demands attention, and sometimes it seems like most people attend the games for the award-winning marching show band. Langston is a safety school for some, a last resort for many, a place many want to forget as soon as they leave it.
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