Diamond Miller finds sweet satisfaction at Maryland
LOIS ELFMAN | 1/21/2021, midnight
When New Jersey native Diamond Miller was interviewed by the Amsterdam News in 2017 shortly after earning a spot on a USA Basketball team bound for the FIBA Americas U16 Championships, she said the University of Maryland was high on the list of the schools where she hoped to play college hoops. Now, a sophomore guard at Maryland, she is a starter and one of the leading scorers for the nationally ranked Terrapins, currently 11–1.
Miller said she picked Maryland because of the coaching staff. “I want to play professionally, and I think the coaches can get me there,” she said. “Obviously, I’m here for the education too, but I knew basketball-wise I wanted to be in the best situation that I could put myself.”
While her offense is outstanding—she’s currently averaging 18 points a game—Miller said she’s learning to be a complete, all-around player. “Dominate the court as much as I can with rebounds, assists, playing defense and getting steals,” Miller said. “They’re pushing me to be better, and I appreciate it.”
In addition to her 2017 gold medal experience with USA Basketball, Miller played on the U.S. team that won gold at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup. The international experience taught her to be resilient.
“You have to be mentally strong to be a part of a U.S. team,” Miller said. “It taught me how to be ready for the unexpected. Playing with and against the best players in the world is really cool. I learned a lot from my teammates. I’m grateful for the opportunities that I had.”
In her second year of playing college basketball, Miller is trying to be the best she can be. She’s not perfect, but when she messes up, she always gets back up and tries again.
With her freshman season cut short when the NCAA Tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19, Miller is dealing with the challenges of this season—including game cancellations and postponements—to make it to March Madness.
“It’s hard because we’re trying to live in the bubble,” said Miller. “Coach [Brenda Frese] told us, when we do get the opportunity to play, we have to play to the best of our opportunities because we don’t know when it can be taken away from us. We can’t control everything, but we can control the 40 minutes we’re in the game. That’s what I try to do every time I step on the court.
“March Madness was taken away last year,” she added. “I’m super excited to experience March Madness.”