Zoie Miller leads the Wolf Pack in her final year


Marisabel Rodriguez

Zoie Miller (10), mass communication senior, is a leader for the Loyola women’s basketball team though her actions on the court, according to head coach Kellie Kennedy. Miller has lead the team in scoring for the past three years. MARISABEL RODRIGUEZ/The Maroon. Photo credit: Marisabel Rodriguez

Jillian Oddo

In nature, wolves live in large groups to travel and hunt. The pack is led by the alpha who is in charge of the well-being and survival of the group. The pack’s success relies solely on the alpha. For the Loyola women’s basketball team, their alpha is mass communication senior Zoie Miller.

Prior to leading the Wolf Pack, Miller started her basketball success at Lone Star High School in Frisco, Texas. Miller was the all-time leading scorer in her school’s history and was named MVP in her district during her senior year.

Miller wanted to bring that same talent to the Wolf Pack despite being the shortest on the team at 5’2″. Her efforts have paid off as she has been the team’s leader in scoring during her sophomore, junior and now senior year.

“I set the bar high for myself. As I saw myself actually reaching my goals, leading in scoring, I set the bar higher and higher every year,” Miller said.

It wasn’t always easy for Miller. During her freshman year, she didn’t play as much as she wanted to. She knew she never wanted that to happen again. For Miller, it all started with changing her mindset and gaining more confidence and Kellie Kennedy, head coach of the women’s basketball team, saw that in her.

“Zoie’s level of productivity and efficiency are the biggest things that are great about her,” Kennedy said. “If you look at Miller’s statistics this year you can see that.”

Kennedy said that nothing was handed to Miller. She created this huge role for herself on the team and her leadership has helped guide the Wolf Pack to victory.

Miller makes the case for being Loyola’s alpha wolf by how she controls her team’s offense.

“I love offense, and I am able to use my quickness to my advantage to get good shots for myself. The phrase ‘too small’ does not exist in my head. It is just another opportunity to prove my opponent wrong,” Miller said.

Her talent to score and pass has made her a reliable talent that the team leans on in times of need.

“We rely on her to score the ball in times we are not doing that well, and she will take over a game. They rely on her to run our offense because she gets people in the right place,” Kennedy said.

The heavy reliance on Miller has made her stat line shine. She leads her pack in scoring with an average of 19.6 points per game while also coming in second for steals, with an average of 2.0 steals per game. Her team-leading stats are also making waves outside Loyola. Miller has the top spot in scoring in the Southern States Athletic Conference,

“Statistically teams know what kind of player I am going into the game, but off of the height, I believe I am overlooked as a player. I just go into every game with a high level of confidence and use the talent God gave me,” Miller said.

Her confidence has shown throughout her Loyola career.

Her efforts have cemented her legacy in the Wolf Pack record book, as eighth in Loyola’s all-time scoring and 10th in assists.

With her record-setting offensive talent, Miller has an offensive edge that no other teammate has.

“She is just incredibly quick to the ball,” said Kennedy.

But the offense is not where Miller’s skills end. Miller is a good defensive player too as she stands at third place in steals per game in the conference, according to Kennedy.

Miller has stood out from the pack in her four years of Loyola basketball. Her ability to achieve success for herself and her teammates has lead to wins and championships, but her motivation to do well in her sport comes from beyond the basketball court.

“I owe my success to my father, he is my motivation. He recently passed away and ever since, I made a promise to myself that I would not take anything for granted,” she said.

Her grit and motivation have formed her into the leader that the team needs and Miller fully embraces her role.

“I feel my role on my team is to lead. My job is to control the tempo, make sure everybody is on the same page and lift us up if we start slacking,” she said.

Kennedy echoed Miller’s sentiments saying, “Miller is a good leader for us. She might not be in a vocal way, but definitely in a get things done kind of way. She leads with her actions and not her words necessarily.”