For Jax Miller, a junior point guard on the Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team, her introduction to the game of basketball was innocent enough.

It all started in first grade when she was given her first silver basketball. From that point on, it was natural fit for the Argyle native. She tried dancing and skiing for a while, but when she decided what she wanted to do for the rest of her life, she chose basketball, and she doesn’t regret it.

When it came time to pick where she would play her collegiate career, Miller credits head coach Cheryl Cole as the one who sparked her interest to commit to PSUC.

“She was the one coach that was really consistent with recruiting me,” Miller said. “Then, she got me up here. I fell in love with the education program, and it was the best fit out of all of the other schools I was looking at. It was sealed deal.” Going into her freshman year Miller admits that she was timid and shy but her teammates helped make the transition from high school to college easier than she expected.

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They mean everything. They’ve been like a family to me” Miller said. “They’ve built up my confidence. I really think this year I’ve really grasped the whole leadership role and being the starting point guard.”

“It’s helped me on and off the court.” Miller’s development over the years has not gone unnoticed, as it’s one reason the Cards have high exceptions for this season.

“I’ve had the pleasure of watching Jax evolve as a player over the years” Senior Devona Paul said. “Just seeing how her game, composure and confidence has developed. She is a stark player in our line up.”

Paul has also noticed the improvements Miller has made to her game.

“Whatever she did over the offseason, she is practically a new player,” Paul said. “She’s better than ever. Everything is firing on all cylinders for her.”

The relationship they built off the court has paid dividends.

“Jax is a big goofball,” Paul said. “She’s awesome to have as a teammate because she’s one of those people that, when you look at her, you know that you are on the same page, thinking the same thing.”

“As a post player, that’s a great relationship to have with your point guard.”

Paul admires that Miller has a great flow of the game. “She’s a good decision maker. She knows when to dish the ball off instead of taking a three in someone’s face. Paul said. “Moving forward, it will help her being a leader to the younger players.”

Freshman Meghan Strong can attest to that.

“She’s a good motivator. She keeps our spirits up during the game.” Strong said. “She wants to make sure that the team is the best it can be.”
As a newcomer to the team, Miller is someone Strong gravitated to.

“I try to watch every step she does. She’s helped me become a better player,” Strong said. “As a point guard, she’s our playmaker. She controls the pace of the game.”

Miller cites the help she’s gotten over the years as the reason why she gotten to this point in her career.

“I couldn’t be in the spot that i’m in today if it wasn’t for Brittany Marshall. Her being my leader for the past two years, I definitely give her all the credit.” Miller said.

“I had a lot great coaches. They all helped me in their own way. Dave Matthews, he brought out my inner tenacious side. He would be screaming positive encouragement, and I responded so well to that.”

Despite being in her third year, Miller has some unfinished business to settle before she graduates.

“I want to get back to the NCAA tournament. Also want to take back that Castleton game that we should have won. We were up by 20 at halftime.”

For Miller, basketball is also an escape from the stresses of college life.

“Going to practice gets my mind off it,” Miller said. “Like coach says, ‘When you walk through those two doors, everything’s dropped.’”

“I can say basketball has transformed me as a person,” Miller said.

Email David Luces at david.luces@cardinalpointsonline.com

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