Miller Continues to 'Pioneer'; former Northland Standout Goes Division I

Miller Continues to 'Pioneer'; former Northland Standout Goes Division I

Rochester, MN- 

As part of the National Girls and Women in Sport Day celebration across Minnesota, and the country, the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is running a three-part series to celebrate the role that sports have in the lives of women and girls in our communities around the state.

At we will feature a team, a coach and an athlete with MCAC connections to bring attention to this important day.  With hundreds of student-athletes, dozens of teams and almost 30 women in key coaching and sport administration roles in the MCAC, it would be impossible to highlight every great story around the league.  We hope our fans, friends and followers of the MCAC enjoy our feature stories and be sure to use our social media feeds on  Twitter & Facebook to post and tweet in telling the stories of women and girls in sport in your MCAC community and campus.

Miller Continues to 'Pioneer'; former Northland Standout Goes Division I:

As the current women's basketball season in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference heads into the home stretch, parity seems to rule the day in both divisions across the league. Several notably improved squads are making a strong case for themselves, with teams such as Minnesota West CTC, Ridgewater College and Western Technical College putting together seasons to challenge long-standing top dogs Anoka-Ramsey and Rochester CTC in the Southern Division. 

In the North, both Hibbing Community College and Rainy River Community College have found a way to turn it up a notch, pushing league-leader Northland Community & Technical College in their quest to maintain their grip on the MCAC Northern Division title and the right to host the Region XIIIB tournament. 

A year ago at this time, Northland was the runaway favorite, claiming a 18-3 overall mark and 9-1 MCAC record.  A big reason for that dominance was the play of ShaRon Miller, a sophomore post player from Blaine, Minnesota who was almost unstoppable at times for head coach Shannon Nelson and her team.  Miller's prowess in Thief River Falls did not go unnoticed outside the land of snow and cold; in fact, NCAA Division I Grand Canyon University, located in sunny Phoenix, Arizona, reached out to and eventually landed the under-the-radar junior college recruit.  If anyone knew Miller could ultimately contribute at a NCAA Division I level, it was Nelson.  The former Gopher standout was a three-time Defensive Player-of-the-Year and two-time captain at the University of Minnesota during her playing days.  Read more on Coach Nelson at this link. 

Grand Canyon, with newly appointed head coach and former WNBA standout Nicole Powell at the helm, is currently 11-11 overall and sport a 5-3 Western Athletic Conference mark.  Now a junior, Miller has adapted her game to the NCAA Division I standard and has seen action in last several contests for the Lopes.  The Minnesota College Athletic Conference recently caught up with the former NCTC Pioneer to check in and learn how she is adjusting to her new team.  For more on ShaRon Miller and the GCU Lopes squad, please visit:


MCAC: What is your favorite memory from your NCTC career?:
ShaRon Miller: "My favorite memory at NCTC was definitely winning regionals both years and being able to compete in the national championships."
MCAC: How is the season going for you personally?:
ShaRon Miller:  "...currently (the season) at Grand Canyon is going very well for me.  It was a huge adjustment I had to make coming from the junior college level as far as my role on the court, game speed, and competition level, and I'm still adjusting and continuing to work very hard but I'm doing well."
MCAC:  How is the season going for the team?:
ShaRon Miller:  "This has definitely been a roller coaster season for the Lopes with a brand new coaching staff and a lot of new girls.  It was a rocky start but we have made a ton of progress and are doing very well. Everyone has something unique to contribute and collectively as a unit we are really striving to do something special and I believe we're going to do it."
MCAC:  Please describe a typical week of basketball at Grand Canyon:
ShaRon Miller:  "A typical week of Grand Canyon basketball is tough haha ! It's a week of intense practices that focus on individual skills as well as team skills as a whole.  All of (the) coaches push us to our absolute limits making us tougher physically and mentally."
MCAC:  What is your favorite favorite basketball moment at Grand Canyon so far in your career?:
ShaRon Miller:  "I really don't have a specific favorite moment; I just really enjoy playing with all of my teammates and traveling across country doing what I love with them.  Doing what I'm doing now was my biggest dream growing up so to be here and doing it, all the moments are my favorite. I'm blessed."
MCAC: Is there anything else you would like to relay back to teammates or opponents back here in the MCAC?:
ShaRon Miller:  "Mostly I just wanted to thank (NCTC head coach) Shannon Nelson for seeing something in me that others didn't and taking a chance on me and helping get to where I am now. I'd like to thank (assistant coaches) Beth and Travis, as well. And also that I'm grateful to have played with some great girls back at Northland."

To learn more about the 32nd Annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) at the national level, visit: http:/

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This release sponsored in part by Gopher Sport. 

Gopher Sport, based in Owatonna, is an industry leader in Physical Education, sports and fitness equipment.  Gopher Sport is dedicated to providing programs and departments with the products to improve fitness, develop skills, create fun and reach a high standard of learning and living. Gopher Sport has diligently served teachers, coaches and athletic directors around the world for over 65 years. 

About the Minnesota College Athletic Conference

The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State system.  The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions.  The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.

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