ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Kirkwood Girls Basketball team motto this year is ‘one more.’ Because last year, just ‘one more’ win would have been a Class 5 Missouri State Championship for the Pioneers and senior forward Lauryn Miller.
“No tears, we don’t want to hear any type of sympathy,” Miller says. “We just want to be out on top as the champions.”
Kirkwood at 21-3 this season has already bested its total regular season wins from last year. Which can be partially attributed to a full healthy season from Miller.
“Any loss that we’ve taken, we’ve definitely taken really personal,” Miller says. “Becuase we know that, that one loss is what sent us home last year.”
In the summer before her junior season, Miller tore her left ACL and meniscus in practice. But when she returned in February last year, head coach Monica Tritz says he was the spark that the team needed.
“Her perseverance is just unbelievable her,” Tritz says. “Her work ethic has just definer her, who she is.”
Miller is a top-15 scorer in the St. Louis area, averaging a double-double this season. And she made her decision to head to UCLA in November, but admits that as stressful as selecting a college was, there are some parts she will miss.
“It was exciting to be that wanted and you’ll never feel that way again in life,” Miller says. “And so the wining and dining was fun for sure.”
But through all the recognition, Tritz says Miller came out of the process as a more humble person.
“And Lauryn is going to go to LA and who knows what she will be,” Tritz says. “She’ll do whatever she wants, but to know that I was part of her life, that is very special and something you can’t take away.”
Miller will have her last chance at a Missouri State Championship once Districts begin next Monday. Then, she’ll be headed to the nationally ranked Bruins.
“It is exciting to be from Kirkwood and be from St. Louis and know that when I go out there I’ll be representing more than just myself, and just my family, but the city that basically raised me,” Miller says.
Thursday, is senior night for Kirkwood and they will honor Miller and her teammates in their final regular season home game, at 5:30 against Webster Groves.