Senior Miller wins Spirit of Su
BROOKINGS — Down nine at halftime, the Mitchell girls’ basketball team came out of the locker room ready to get going in the Class AA final Saturday in Brookings.
With the court occupied by an award ceremony, the Kernels sat on the bench waiting for their opportunity to warm up before the final half of basketball of the season, but a celebration would delay the shoot around.
Senior guard Macy Miller was honored with the unique and prestigious Spirit of Su award, which is given annually at the Class AA state girls’ basketball tournament to one senior player who exemplifies excellence on and off the court.
The award is named for SuAnne Big Crow, who was killed in a car accident driving to the 1992 Miss Basketball Award Banquet in Huron during her senior season at Pine Ridge High School.
According to the Spirit of Su committee, SuAnne stood against drugs and alcohol, became a role model in her community, all while maintaining nearly a 4.0 grade point average in the classroom.
Along with a plaque, Miller received a blanket emblazoned with four ribbons representing different races. It is a symbol of peace and community among people from all races.
“It’s not just basketball, but also the classroom and the community,” Miller said. “It’s just a great award and I’m happy to win it.”
Miller, who was also named to the Class AA all-tournament team Saturday, said she has a 3.6 GPA at Mitchell High School. She has also worked with Rob Marchand making bracelets to raise money for the Band of Brothers foundation, which is a partner with the You’ll Never Walk Alone foundation.
“I had no idea I was going to win,” Miller said. “That blanket is something not a lot of people get.”
Miller is the 21st recipient of the Spirit of Su award and third Kernel. Erin Olson (2003) and Jeana Hoffman (2004) each won the award for Mitchell in prior seasons.
Miller continued to rewrite South Dakota high school record books at the Class AA tournament.
She finished with 103 points in three games at Frost Arena, easily eclipsing the record of 81 points scored by JoElle Byre, of Sioux Falls Washington, in 1981.
“She felt like she could put us on her back and carry us to the end,” Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said. “She is a competitor and competitors want to win.”
With her final bucket in Mitchell’s championship game loss, Miller broke the South Dakota high school record for points in a season for all classes, which was held by Mitchell Christian’s Jill (Young) Sargent with 766 points in 2006. Miller finished the season with 768 points, averaging 30.7 points per game.
“(Sargent) is a player that I look up to and is a player I want to be like at (South Dakota State University),” said Miller, who will attend SDSU, the same school where Sargent played.
Sargent said she is honored to be a player Miller looks up to.
Sargent finished her career at SDSU with 1,356.
“I am honored that Macy would look up to me as a player she wants to be like,” she said. “I am sure there are a lot of young girls in Mitchell that want to grow up and be the next Macy Miller.”