Kelly Miller – Charlotte Sting
Unanswered questions could easily have been a distraction for Charlotte Sting’s Kelly Miller during the off-season. Would the Sting continue to exist and get a new owner? Who would be head coach? Would the league itself survive? How would the new contract affect the Sting’s roster?
Instead of losing focus, the 5’10” guard simply concentrated on improving her game, teaming up with her twin sister, Coco, to play a second season for the NWBL’s Birmingham Power. “I was optimistic everything would work out fine,” explained Miller, “so I just kept preparing myself like there was going to be a season.”
So far, her optimism has proven well founded. Differences under new owner Robert Johnson was tangible. “He’s excited about marketing the Sting,” explained Miller, “something that hasn’t happened in the past. It’s a great benefit to have him here.”
The transition to playing under a new coach Trudi Lacey has been eased by familiarity and respect. There have been few significant changes in the line-up and Lacy served as an assistant under former coach Anne Donovan (who moved to take the Seattle Storm position). “This year,” says Miller, “we’re looking to be a little more up tempo than last year.”
In her third season, Miller understands that while Dawn Staley is the team’s undisputed leader, she expects that some of that role will begin to shift to her shoulders. “In college I mainly played the one. Right now, I’m playing the one and two. I’m playing a little more one this year, so far. Hopefully I’ll get more comfortable at the position, helping my team and keep growing.
“Wherever the team needs me to play, I’ll be ready.
Though she laughs at the question of whether or not she’ll follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn “Most Improved Player,” statistics over have continued to improve across the board. “Each year, I’m gaining confidence and feeling more comfortable.” A slight woman, Miller knows the importance of being both mentally and physically strong. “I lift a lot in the off-season. There are a LOT of big guards in the WNBA. ” “Every time out on the court I want to make my presence known. Give it all I’ve got and make a contribution, whether it’s offensively or defensively.”