Assisting the UCLA Bruins women’s basketball team to be one of the toughest programs in the United States has not hindered senior forward, Lauryn Miller, from excelling in her academics.
Miller has earned recognition for her studies during the 2019-2020 season when she was named on the Pac-12 Winter Academic Honor Roll. The award is given to student athletes whose roster has a cumulative 3.3 GPA. During that season, she had 30 starts and earned five double-doubles.
That year, Miller made a career high of 14 rebounds and accumulated 88 offensive rebounds, the third highest on the team.
During the 2018-19 season, she also earned a Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention.
As of January 26, Miller leads the team in total steals with 19 and is second on the team in total offensive rebounds with 26. On the offensive end, she can score in the post and facilitate, making her the point-forward of the team. Miller is grateful that her coaches and teammates trust her with the versatile role.
“Being in low post and being able to have defenses not be certain of whether I’m looking to score or pass so it’s definitely fun,” Miller said. “It’s even more fun having shooters like [senior guard Natalie Chou] on the perimeter so you got to guard both, so it’s been a good year so far with the motion.”
The Bruins’ offensive scheme requires players to spread out, which plays into Miller’s passing abilities. Miller is currently third on the team in assists with 2.5 assists per game. She prides herself in being an IQ player. Bruins women’s basketball head coach Cori Close has urged her to be confident and assertive when making shots.
“Doing that, it actually made my passing better because it’s making people have to respect me when it comes to my shot,” Miller said.
Miller is currently averaging 6.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, helping the Bruins make a total of 74.91 points per game.
Although she is a senior on court, Miller is in grad school as a student in the transformative coaching and leadership program. She sees balancing schoolwork and her athletics as “a cool challenge.”
“It’s cool just to have actual lessons around how are you going to lead and circumstances that just make you adapt and pivot,” Miller said. “A lot of the stuff they’re teaching is actually coach Cori’s philosophy … it’s kind of been cool to bring that to the team and our leadership.”
Prior to her days at UCLA, Miller attended Kirkwood High School in Missouri. She helped the girls’ basketball team earn a state championship during her senior year. She also became a Gatorade State Player of the Year in Missouri.
In 2015, Miller earned a spot on the USA Basketball U16 National team and helped them win a bronze medal at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship.