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November 5, 2014
By Stan Silliman

LANGSTON KICKS OFF CHERYL MILLER ERA
 

 

November 5th is the first home basketball game for the Langston Lady Lions under new coach Cheryl Miller.
        Yes, that Cheryl Miller… the one who used to hide behind a tree while younger brother Reggie would challenge guys at the local playground courts for money by saying “Would you guys want to play against me and my sister?”

        That Cheryl Miller, the one who forced Reggie to develop a rainbow shot to avoid getting it blocked.

        That Cheryl Miller, the only basketball player to be a four time high school All-American and a four time college All-American, coaches at Langston.
That Cheryl Miller, the one who holds the California single game record of 105 points in a high school game, is coaching at Langston.

        That Cheryl Miller -- the only basketball player to win a gold medal in the Pan American Games, the Goodwill Games and the Olympics. Coaches at Langston.

        That Cheryl Miller -- the one who is in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame at Knoxville and in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, is coaching at Langston.  

        That Cheryl Miller -- the one drafted by the USBL, a men’s pro basketball league, coaches at Langston.

        That Cheryl Miller -- the former USC coach and WNBA coach of the Phoenix Mercury, is coaching at Langston.

        Yes, the same Cheryl Miller, about whom Elaine on Seinfeld once said (when Reggie Miller was mentioned): “Cheryl Miller has a brother?”

 

Never mind the other stuff, if you’re featured or mentioned on Seinfeld, you’re bigtime. And this big time possibly greatest player ever is coaching at Langston. Consider this a coup for little Langston University, a small (student population under 4000) historically black college located in a town of less than 2000 near the center of Oklahoma. It’s good work by Mike Garrett, Langston athletic director.

 

Mike Garrett, you might remember, was a Heisman Trophy winner and also the athletic director at USC for many years. Langston is a long ways from USC, not just in miles but culturally. Garrett has hopes of making Langston University the top athletic program in all of the historical black colleges. He first hired former USC assistant Stan Holt as men’s basketball coach. Garrett again used his USC connections and somehow convinced Miller to join the fold. Between Garrett and Miller they can show a potential recruit enough championship rings to blind her. I’m not sure that’s a good idea. Sighted players seem to perform better.

 

Still, for basketball royalty like Miller to be toiling in a tiny southwestern town, it’s remarkable. Cheryl says she’s exactly where she is supposed to be. We don’t exactly buy that. For equivalency, imagine Warren Buffett leaving Berkshire and announcing he’s managing Dairy Queen, and by that we mean not the whole company, just a Dairy Queen. Or for a better example, how about LeBron James calls together a presser to tell us he’s leaving the Cavaliers and taking his talents to the Washington Generals. Not even the Globetrotters. LeBron tells us he’s tired of seeing the Generals lose and thinks he can help.

 

We wish Cheryl and the Langston Lions good luck on every game they play except when they play the Oklahoma City Stars, my old school. It will take Miller gathering some stars to beat the Stars… which could happen. Royalty attracts stars.

 


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