Reggie Miller is a Hall-of-Famer, one of the game’s top tier smack talkers, and one of the greatest shooters the NBA has ever seen. And yet, he might not have been the best basketball player in his family. That title might’ve belonged to his sister Cheryl Miller, who, to this day, is widely considered as one of the greatest women’s basketball players ever.
She jumped the highest, she played the hardest, and she hit the hardest.Reggie Miller
After a dominant high school career, which includes dropping 105 in a single game, Cheryl chose to play for the University of Southern California. During her run at USC, Miller led the team to back-to-back national championships in ’83 and ’84 and was named NCAA tournament MVP both years. She was named Naismith College Player of the Year three times and earned the Wade Trophy once while receiving All-American honors four times.
Miller finished her college run 10th on the all-time NCAA scoring list (3,018 career points) while also being third on the NCAA rebounding list (1,534 career rebounds). She still holds numerous Trojan records and is the only player, male or female, to have her #31 jersey retired at USC. And as all of that isn’t enough, Cheryl also led the U.S. Women’s Basketball Team to a gold medal in the ’84 Olympics.
Now, how do you compete with something like that? Reggie himself has said he couldn’t. Whether it was the pick-up games, playing basketball in the neighborhood, or competing at the highest level, Cheryl Miller was always the standard for her younger brother. And if you are to ask Reggie about it, he would say that he could never reach that standard.
And how could he? Think about this; on the same day Reggie had his best high school performance, where he had 40 in one of his first starts; Cheryl had an-all time great outing of scoring 105. So all the boasting Reggie was about to do, he had been deprived of it by what his older sister had done, meaning that the standard had been set even higher. But Reggie continued to chase it. Even throughout his NBA career, the goal was always to beat his older sister. Whether he did it or not, I’m not sure. But he always had someone to chase.
And when he was giving his Hall of Fame speech, Cherly was the one person Reggie gave the most credit to for the player he became. He rode her shoulders all the way to that stage. Because if it weren’t for Cheryl, the NBA wouldn’t have had the player Reggie Miller was. That’s why she was, is, and always will be his biggest rival, but also his biggest inspiration.