Virginia freshman guard Carole Miller has already become a staple in the Cavalier rotation through the first 12 games of the season. The Alexandria, Va. Native has appeared in every game, starting each of the last seven contests, and is averaging over 27 minutes of action per game. Out of Edison High School, Miller was ranked as the No. 82 prospect in the country on signing day.
While a lifelong Virginian, Miller’s path to UVA wasn’t always clear cut. Both parents have worked for the FBI and various government entities, keeping Miller in the D.C. area throughout her youth. As she initiated the recruiting cycle, Miller was interested in a change of scenery.
“Originally, I wanted to go out of state,” Miller said, “but when it came down to it and I was weighing my options, UVA was just the right fit. Academics were really important to my mom and me and the basketball just seemed to fit. I wanted to be a part of something that was trying to be great again instead of something that was already great.”
Growing up, Miller was originally focused on soccer while basketball served as a convenient bridge between seasons.
“I started playing club basketball in second grade but it wasn’t serious,” she said. “It was more just something to do because I was a really active kid and would try anything. My main sport was soccer up until 8th grade and since soccer was mostly in the fall in spring, I needed something to keep my busy so I would play basketball.
“I started playing AAU in sixth grade and then in eighth grade I got an offer to play for Boo Williams. Around the same time, I decided that soccer just wasn’t the thing for me because my original team fell apart and we were like a family and the new team I went to just wasn’t the same. I didn’t have the same passion for soccer so I decided to accept the offer from Boo Williams and really started to take basketball seriously.”
By the time her senior season ended, Miller stood out for her basketball acumen. She led Edison to back-to-back state title games while amassing more than 1,000 points in her high school career.
“It was exciting to get to that point back-to-back because we knew that we deserved to be there,” Miller said. “But, we ran into Princess Anne both years and they were the dominant team in the state. They had the reputation for winning state but we always put up a fight, so I was always proud of our team.”
Off the court, Miller is equally impressive inside the classroom where she is pursuing a degree in engineering.
“I think I settled on engineering in either my sophomore or junior year of high school,” Miller said. “I knew I liked the innovative side of society and I also really like biology and wanted to work with the body but didn’t want to be a doctor. My senior year, I had to do physical therapy because I had a bone spur in my foot and I thought about how cool it would be if I was the creator of a device that would enhance someone’s rehab experience.”
Even with the aforementioned bone spur, Miller never missed a beat on the floor as a senior. She averaged 20 points and nine rebounds in her final campaign at Edison.
“I sprained my ankle during the last fall game and took a break for a few weeks but played for the whole season,” she said. “My ankle was still bothering me after the season so I went and got some x-rays and the doctor told me that I had a bone spur in my ankle, so I was in a boot for about a month and a half.”
After the injury solidified a desire to pursue engineering, Miller’s first semester on Grounds was highlighted, naturally, by an engineering course.
“My favorite class was my intro to engineering class because it was really hands-on and our final project was to make a violin out of a cigar box and it actually worked so that was pretty cool,” Miller recounted.
“We got to design our own class ring and 3-D print it, so we got to work with the 3-D printer. Other professors would come into class and tell us about their engineering path and see if people were interested so that they could help guide them to resources so that was always cool too.”
Those experiences have only served to reinforce Miller’s passion and desire to innovation.
“I intend on staying in the engineering school,” she said, “and I think I’m going to pursue biomechanics.”