Tag: Cheryl Miller

Reggie Cheryl Miller

How Reggie, Cheryl Miller used to hustle playground games


By the end of Friday night, Reggie and Cheryl Miller will be the first ever brother/sister combination enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. In fact, Cheryl will be on stage presenting Reggie when he makes his speech.

That gives me a good reason to tell my favorite Miller family story, one Cheryl Miller first told to People Magazine back in 1982 and Reggie recounted in his 1990s book “I Love Being The Enemy.”

The Millers grew up in Riverside, Calif., which is in the Inland Empire about a 40-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles (if there is no traffic, and good luck with that). He and Cheryl grew up on the playground games in that area (Reggie says shooting over Cheryl’s length led to the rainbow arc on his shots).

And the two used to run a little hustle in those playground games. Here is how Miller put it in his book:

“Back in the fifth and sixth grades, we’d go to the courts at John Adams Elementary or Hunt Park and hustle two-on-two games. We had it down to a science. It was the best hustle scam in Riverside, California.

“I’d tell Cheryl to hide in the bushes, and then I’d go up to a couple of older kids and arrange a game. ‘You guys want to play?’ I’d said. ‘I’m by myself … unless you count my sister.’

“Then I’d whistle, and Cheryl would come out from behind the bushes looking like she didn’t know a thing about basketball. You could see the two other guys looking at each other like, ‘Oh, my God, this is going to be easy.’

“We’d play for ten dollars; the first team to 10 by ones would win the money. Then we’d get down, 5-0, double the bet, and then take care of business. I’d look at Cheryl, she’d look at me, we’d wink, and then … 10-5 us, and on our way to McDonald’s for a Happy Meal.”

Miller was clutch even then. Really, Millers. Both of them.

I just love that story.

Vlade Divac to headline class for FIBA Hall of Fame

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divac.jpgThe basketball Hall of Fame thing gets confusing. Because just one week ago we had inductions into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which is the one we Americans tend to think of first. But there is also the FIBA Hall of Fame. And there is no NBA Hall of Fame, it just kind of tags along with the Naismith.

FIBA has just announced the class for its Hall of Fame, headlined by everyone’s favorite chain smoking center Vlade Divac. We think of him as the crafty (read: flopping) center from the Lakers and Kings, but he was also someone who transformed the Serbian national team as a player.

Other names on the list you may recognize include Arvydas Sabonis, a truly great center who we only got to see in the United States at the end of his career (and he was still pretty good), and Cheryl Miller, one of the best women basketball players ever to walk the planet. Brazilian star Oscar Schmidt also is on the list.

All well deserved, whatever the criteria for your hall is.

They will be inducted at a ceremony Sept. 12 in Turkey, while the FIBA World Championships are taking place.