In Feb. 25 Issue
Lady Laker senior guard Rachael Miller has displayed an evident toughness and grittiness throughout her career as a Russell County High School basketball player.
In her final year on the team, Miller says her hoops career has flown by but she said she has gained some valuable insight into what it will take to succeed in life after basketball, a game she first picked up in kindergarten after following in the footsteps of her big brother, Jason.
“I wanted to be just like him,” she said.
Miller said her time as a Lady Laker has taught her a lot about being a responsible person and teammate.
“If you don't carry through with your responsibilities you'll either get the consequences or failure,” she said.
“We started playing when we were young and didn't have very good seasons for a while,” Miller said of her younger playing days. “But we're winning now and it is a lot more fun.”
Miller has been a part of Coach Craig Pippen's Lady Lakers team for three years now and Pippen has openly expressed his appreciation and work ethic as a key player on his basketball team.
“He has meant a lot,” she said of her coach.
“He tries to make it more fun. We do things together as a team, sometimes we'll all go to the movies together and things like that.”
Miller said Pippen tries to get the girls to become more like a family than a team and that has helped with their growing success over the years.
“We've always been really close,” Miller said of her and her teammates.
“I think that helps with team chemistry.”
Once the season ends, Miller said she will miss the games, the friends and the camaraderie of playing in front of the fans.
“I'm just going to miss everything,” she said.
She recalls her sophomore year as her best memory, thus far, when district runner-up Russell County, 12-18 overall, advanced to regional tournament play at Western Kentucky University's E.A. Diddle Arena where they were downed by 20-10 Barren County in the opening round.
She said playing on such a big stage was a highlight she'll never forget.
Miller's parents, Barry and Hollie Miller, never miss a game either and even took her to basketball camps when she was younger to help her improve.
“They're always there to support me,” she said.
As the season draws near a close and district tournament play heats up, one can count on Rachael Miller to be giving her all on the basketball court.