Diamond Is Golden!

Diamond Miller, fifth from left, and her U16 US National Women’s Basketball Teammates after winning the gold medal in Argentina. Photo: FIBA.

Lady Warrior Diamond Miller and her U16 US National Womens Basketball teammates captured gold in Buenos Aires June 11, with a dominant 91-46 win over Canada in the FIBA U16 Womens Americas Championship.

Miller had her best game of the five-day tournament, scoring 10 points – including a 3-pointer at the 1st Quarter’s buzzer – four rebounds and two steals.

“It feels great,” Miller said after the game. “Not a lot of people get to win this, so the fact that we won is just amazing. All of my hard work is finally paying off.”

Miller was also a member of the 2016-17 Franklin High School girls basketball team that won the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions in March. She said the feeling she has in winning gold on a world stage is “exactly the same. It’s overwhelming excitement, my heart is racing.”

“This one is definitely bigger than winning the state, because I’m representing so many people in my country,” she said. “It’s still amazing to know that I’m taking this gold medal home to New Jersey and Franklin.”

The win qualifies the US National Team to compete in the U17 World Championship next year. Miller said no one on this team is guaranteed a spot next year, but they stand better chances of making the team.

Diamond Miller in action against Puerto Rico in the preliminary round. Photo: FIBA.

Miller’s placement on the team was an outside shot from the beginning She was not one of the three-dozen or so players invited to try out for the team, meaning she had to apply and then prove herself during tryouts at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado.

It’s just right that the US should win a basketball championship, Miller said.

“We invented basketball, and we’re showing the world that no other country can beat us,” she said.

Miller said she and her teammates were convinced by the third quarter – which the team entered leading 50-25 – that they were going to win the gold.

“There was no way they were going to come back,” she said. “It was like, wow, we’re gold medalists.”

The US team, ranked the No. 1 team in the world by the International Basketball Federation – was dominant through every round, beating each of their opponents by double-digits, and scoring 269 more points than their opponents.

For her part, Miller scored 32 points during the tournament, good for 7th highest total on the team. She shot 53 percent from the field, good for 3rd best on the team, going 7 for 9 from the floor and 3 for 10 from the 3-point zone.

Her 28 rebounds – 11 offensive and 17 defensive – was 4th best on the team, as were her 10 steals.

Miller’s mother, Dreana, who accompanied her daughter to Argentina, said after the game that she and the team’s other parents “are just, wow, we won gold.”

“It’s just an overwhelming, overjoyed feeling,” she said.

“It feels so awesome,” Mrs. Miller said. The team “dominated from day one and just had fun.”

Diamond Miller said she and her teammates were getting ready for one last bit of fun after the game and receiving their medals.

“We’re going to get McDonald’s,” she said.


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