Close to home, strong academics, excellent vibe with the coaches and players, Division I program and a winning program.
It was all there for star basketball player Anna Miller. So, on Thursday, the Rochester Mayo senior pulled the trigger, verbally committing to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Drake was one of about 12 Division I programs that were offering Miller a scholarship, including the University of Colorado and Loyola University Chicago.
Miller had recently gotten quite comfortable with Drake, having visited the school four times in the last five months and done numerous internet Zoom calls with its coaches. The 6-feet-3 Miller is elated with her choice and intends to be a pre-med major when she gets there, her goal to become a doctor.
“Drake is a really good academic school, they are very successful in basketball, their coaches are awesome and their players are super nice,” said Miller, a first-team 2020 Post Bulletin All-Area choice this past season after averaging 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks per game. “I also like that it’s close to home so that my parents (Chad and Treva) can come and watch games. I have a really tight bond with my parents, and I’d miss them too much if I went far away for school.”
Miller becomes the second Rochester girls basketball player to commit to a Division I program in the last two years. Lourdes’ 6-1 guard/forward Alyssa Ustby, a 2020 graduate, will play at the University of North Carolina this coming season. And there’s another Rochester high school girl who is certain to go the Division I route. That is incoming John Marshall junior Lilly Meister, a versatile 6-2 center who’s hearing from some of the top programs in the country, including Oregon and Louisville.
Miller figures to fit in well athletically at Drake, which finished 22-8 this past season, including 14-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Long and agile, Miller combines that with rare speed and quickness for someone her size. She’s also versatile, with an offensive game that stretches to the 3-point line.
“They like that I’m versatile and that I run the floor well,” Miller said. “What I am working on now is continuing to perfect my outside game and just improve as much as I can as a player.”
Miller has been playing summer basketball with AAU team North Tartan, one of the elite programs in the state.
She played on a Mayo team this past season that won 18 straight games before barely losing in the Section 1AAAA finals to No. 2-ranked Farmington.