Reggie Miller - Perfected Basketball Skills To Beat Sister
Perfected Basketball Skills to Beat Sister
Reginald Wayne Miller was born with a hip defect on August 24, 1965, in Riverside, California, to Carrie and Saul Miller. "I came out with my legs and hips all contorted and twisted, like somebody had tried to tie me in a knot," Miller recalled in his book, I Love Being the Enemy. "The doctors said I might not ever walk."
To correct the problem, Miller endured leg braces his first four years and used a wheelchair or crutches to get around. The fourth of five children, Miller spent his days stranded indoors with his mom, yearning to get outside and play with his sports-minded siblings. Throughout the ordeal, his mother, a nurse, offered encouragement.
When the braces came off, Miller made quick use of his legs and began hanging out with his sister Cheryl. Their father, a computer systems analyst and former collegiate basketball star, taught them the game. Miller, however, couldn't compete against his taller, more-practiced sister. Whenever he drove to the basket for a layup, she'd reach up behind him and thwart his shot.
Miller's ambition in life became to beat his sister, and he began taking 500 to 700 shots a day. He stepped onto the family's backyard court and shot relentlessly until he mastered a ten-foot shot. Next, he drilled himself on twelve-footers. In time, Miller stood back in his mother's rose bushes, dropping in twenty-plus footers. Then, his sister's height didn't matter. Instead of dribbling toward the basket, Miller retreated and nailed one of his far-flung jumpers. In this way, Miller developed his signature long-range jump shot, which he later made famous in the NBA.
Miller's favorite sport, however, was baseball, which he played his freshman year at Riverside Polytechnic High School. He wanted to be a star like his older brother, Darrell, who was on his way to becoming a catcher for the California Angels. Miller spent several long, lonely afternoons in the outfield, then decided he should try a more action-packed sport like basketball. The game suited him well, and he led Polytechnic to the state high school championship in both his junior and senior years.