LCI's Miller signs on to play basketball at Mount Royal University
By Garrett Simmons
Lethbridge School District No. 51
Lethbridge Collegiate Institute’s Maitlynn Miller is off to Mount Royal University.
The high school senior, who is averaging 15 points per game this season for the Clippers in Southern Alberta High School Basketball League play, has signed on to play for the Cougars next season.
LCI hosted an official signing ceremony on Saturday, as the Clippers competed in the 51st Annual Green and Gold Tournament at the school, as Miller was set to play a starring role, just as she has all season.
“Maitlynn has been a great asset to our team this year,” said Clippers coach Shawn Heggie. “She has started every game for us and instantly became a leader on the team.”
Heggie added Miller’s skills at the point-guard position have greatly contributed to LCI this season.
“Maitlynn plays a guard position for us and brings a great level of intensity to each game. She is a well-rounded player who scores a lot, plays strong defence and is a great rebounder. I have been very impressed with Maitlynn this year in the fact that she could probably score a lot more, but she has definitely developed her game a lot as a true point guard that can draw the defence in and then find some of our players for wide-open shots.”
For Heggie, seeing Clippers players move on to play for colleges and universities, after their high-school careers are over, is very important.
“It means a lot to LCI and the girls basketball program as these girls move on to post-secondary institutions. We've had a few go on and play university ball over the last few years, which speaks volumes for the program and gives a lot for the younger players to aspire to. If we can use basketball or any other sport to help us further our education, it is always a positive thing.”
Nate McKibbon, head coach of the women's basketball team at MRU, said he has had his eye on Miller since here Grade 10 year in the SAHSBL.
“What first attracted us was her fearlessness on the court,” said McKibbon. “Even though she was the youngest player out there, she was not afraid to assert herself offensively and defensively. You could also tell that she was extremely competitive and excelled in a high-tempo game, similar to what we play at MRU.”
The coach added Miller will bring a number of elements to the Cougars.
“We believe she can defend at our level with her athleticism and length. Also, her ability to play PG has also greatly improved over the last year. She will have to work on a little more consistent outside shot but she has the basic form and work ethic, so we aren't worried about her improvement.”
McKibbon went on to say Miller will likely earn some time on the floor for MRU during her first season.
“We see Maitlynn competing for minutes right away because of her versatility and competitiveness. She can defend multiple positions and offensively can play on or off ball in our up-tempo style. We think she fits our program very well, and look forward to her contributing for many years to come.”
Miller is also looking forward to contributing to the Cougars next year, as she added her game blends nicely with MRU’s type of game.
“What attracted me to Mount Royal was the fast-paced style that McKibbon likes to play and the strong academic success their student athletes have, as well as McKibbon’s fashion sense in gear, bow ties and shoes,” said Miller.
All joking aside, Miller is looking to hit the court next year with the Cougars and make an impact.
“I’m hoping next year I can immediately contribute to the young team with my speed and aggressiveness on the court,” she said. “I’m also excited to grow with the team to hopefully find success in Canada West.”
Her LCI Clippers are currently 4-2 in league play, and Miller is hoping things will start to come together for her team as the season winds down.
“My high school season with the Clippers so far has had ups and downs,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of injuries and I’m excited for us all to be healthy so we can show how well we can play at the end of league, zones and provincials.”
Miller will study Business at Mount Royal, as she looks to combine her academic and athletic pursuits.
“I’m really looking forward to move on to post-secondary basketball to grow and learn as a player and with my new team,” she said. “Super excited to be a Cougar!”
Date posted: Feb. 3, 2018