Sometimes, an aspiring athlete will try out a sport and just know that it’s the one for them. That’s how Alexis Miller felt about basketball when she began playing at the age of five.
“I just fell in love with it,” she said. “I like the different levels of competition, and I’m a team player, so I like playing with other people.”
With her graduation from Louisa County High School behind her, Miller will play for the University of Mary Washington Eagles next year while studying to be a nurse.
“I’m excited to play at the next level,” she said. “The team is really close-knit and felt like a family.”
Miller said she was also impressed with Eagles’ girls’ basketball coach Deanna Applebury’s leadership and everything she’s done for the program since becoming the head coach in 2004, including taking the team to nine NCAA tournaments.
Miller’s basketball career has taken her through Little League teams and travel league programs as well as three full seasons on the Louisa Lions’ varsity girls’ team. During her freshman season in 2016-17, Miller contributed to a very successful run that saw the Lions pick up their first Jefferson District championship in two decades and add a conference championship on top of that. She says that season is one of her favorite memories of playing in Louisa.
Over the next two seasons, she saw more playing time and became a leader on the team. In her sophomore and junior years, Miller scored more than 600 points for the Lions, averaging nearly 13 points per game.
During her 2019 summer season with her travel team, the Virginia Basketball Association Bruins, Miller added another favorite basketball memory: A national championship. The team won the state title in May to qualify for the national tournament in Myrtle Beach at the end of June. Over the course of the three-day touranment, the Bruins earned a 4-2 record on their way to the title. Miller put the cherry on top with a three-point buzzer-beater in the championship game to give the team the win.
Miller’s senior season was cut short due to an injury, but she managed to add 81 points to her career total over the eight games she played in. She ended her high school career with 742 points, 304 rebounds, 128 steals and 94 assists. She learned a valuable lesson from missing out on her senior season, though.
“I learned that nothing is guaranteed,” she said. “You have to play every game like it’s your last.”
Of her time playing in Louisa, Miller said one of the things she enjoyed the most was the relationship she developed with her teammates.
“It made the experience way more fun,” she said. “I’m going to miss the team. They’re the best and we’ve been through a lot together.”