Screeching halt: Miller’s first pro season suspended by coronavirus pandemic
Macy Miller’s first professional basketball season was turned upside down.
The Mitchell native was guiding Baxi Ferrol to a turnaround season, but it came to a sudden stop due to the coronavirus pandemic. Baxi Ferrol, which competes in the second division of the women’s basketball league in Spain, had its season suspended due to the pandemic.
It forced Miller to make a quick decision that put her life in a whirlwind. She mulled over whether to stay in Spain or return to Mitchell. She discussed all options with her roommate and former Michigan State player Jenna Allen, her agent, coaches and her parents.
Miller made a decision to wait it out, but her parents -- Alan and Shelly -- wanted her back home and two days later she was on a plane back to the United States.
“It was just crazy,” Miller said. “A matter of two days is crazy how I had to get everything packed and trying to make a decision if I wanted to leave or not.”
Miller said her emotions were all over the place, ranging from nervousness and stress during those two days.
“I didn’t want to leave the team,” Miller said. “Things were going well. We were in second place and had high hopes for the playoffs. But you have this coronavirus and you have to think of your health and safety first.”
She’s been in Mitchell for more than three weeks and the former Miss Basketball is going crazy without hoops in her life. She’s staying active as best she can and goes on runs with her father.
“It’s crazy how you go to playing basketball 24/7, to just being stuck at home and you can’t even do anything,” said Miller, who is a former South Dakota State University guard. “You can’t even go to a gym. I am just trying to do things around the house and just be ready for when this clears up for whatever is next.”
Miller doesn’t know what her next step will be. She isn’t sure if she’ll go back to Baxi Ferrol or join a different team or look for a job.
“I have all these options open,” Miller said. “It’s kind of hard to make a decision. You can’t really look for jobs right now or find a team to play on. So you have to sit back and weigh all your options and see what’s best.”
Miller and her current teammates stay in touch through WhatsApp -- a service that allows users to stay connected through videos, images and messages. She has teammates scattered around the country and they were meshing before the pandemic.
Baxi Ferrol, which went 3-23 last season, was 16-5 after its last game on March 7. The team started 8-4 through 12 games, but hit its stride after Christmas break. It won eight of nine games after returning home from Christmas.
Miller leads the team in minutes (29.6), assists (3.6) and steals (2) per game. She’s second in scoring (11.7), 3-pointers made (34) and third in rebounds (4.4). Baxi Ferrol is second in its league in points per game (78.2) and assists per game (17.3).
But more importantly, it was making a strong push for the playoffs. Baxi Ferrol’s league is divided into two groups based on geography. The top four teams of each group qualify for the playoffs. The qualified teams are divided into two groups of four teams and the two top teams advance to the finals.
Baxi Ferrol is No. 3 in its group standings with five games left in the season before it was suspended.
“I think about midway through the season we all clicked and we were all playing our best basketball,” Miller said. “We were really looking forward to these playoffs, but unfortunately it didn't get to be played out.”