Dedication, determination, dominance and desire are four adjectives that best sum up the high school basketball career of Waxahachie senior Chanel Miller.
In the near future she just might be able to add division one basketball player to the list of adjectives that begin with the letter D to her game, a game that is as good offensively as it is defensively.
Miller has been a member of the Lady Indians varsity squad since her freshman year and has overcome two ACL injuries that required major surgery to sign a full-ride scholarship with Temple College to continue her basketball career, a career that looked in jeopardy 11 months ago.
“She has a tremendous amount of perseverance and determination. I have coached kids who have come back from one surgery but never two. I have no doubt that Chanel will definitely play on the division one level after she leaves Temple,” Waxahachie head coach Lesli Priebe said.
Miller first suffered an ACL injury in the summer between her sophomore and junior season in AAU action before suffering the same injury to her opposite knee in Waxahachie Summer League action last summer between her junior and senior season.
The second injury came as Miller was shining on the court in summer league play. She had risen from role player to the No. 1 scoring option for the Lady Indians as her dedication to the game was translating to a dominance on both offense and defense.
She battled back from the second injury and made her return to the court in district play against Forney in the Lady Indians’ third district game of the season on Dec. 10. It was the first win in district competition for the Lady Indians.
She continued to improve with each game and finished the season with first team all-district honors despite missing the first two games in 15-4A action.
“The way she was playing last spring, she would have definitely signed a division one scholarship prior to her second injury,” Priebe said. “Temple is getting a diamond in the rough and I think the coach knows that. They are getting a player who character-wise is one of the best young ladies I have ever coached. She is a great leader who does the right things, is extremely dedicated and is going to work harder than anybody that Temple College is going to have on its squad.”
Despite the two injuries Miller had two junior colleges looking to add her versatility to the roster for the 2011-12 season.
“When I visited Temple it was a real team environment. I liked the setup of the college and everything I saw,” Miller said in choosing Temple. “McLennan wanted me, but I really like Temple.”
Miller will get a chance to face McLennan the next two years as Temple plays in the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference with McLennan.
Also in the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference is Hill College where former Lady Indian and Miller’s former teammate Shaquille Davis plays.
“I overcame a big obstacle with the two major surgeries but with my passion for the game I still wanted to play. It’s great getting an opportunity to play at the college level now,” Miller said. “I am feeling really good. I am still practicing with coach Priebe trying to get back to 100 percent. I am ready to play.”
Miller will get her chance to play quick at Temple as head coach Kim Sebek knows she is getting a versatile player who can contribute.
“Coach Priebe called me about Chanel and I was excited because I have a great respect for her and her program,” Sebek said. “I saw Chanel prior to her senior season, but she came and worked out and I really liked what I saw. She is a great student-athlete that has a lot of potential to excel at the next level. I expect her to step right in and contribute to the Lady Leopard program. Chanel is a tremendous athlete with a strong build. She can score, rebound and play defense. She will fit right in with our team.”
Miller is healthy, Temple has come calling and the basketball future of the Waxahachie senior is as bright as ever with the sky being the limit.