updated 05/10/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/10/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Cheryl Miller, 18, a senior at Riverside (Calif.) Polytechnic High, may be the best schoolgirl basketball player in the U.S. A 6'2" center, she has a four-year average of 36.7 points per game. In January she scored 105 points, a California record, against one opponent. In leading her undefeated team to a fourth straight state championship last month with a 77-44 win over Los Gatos, she got 41 points. Though she feels "defense is my strength," her stats at Riverside include completion of 1,105 of 1,621 field goal attempts.
In their early teens Cheryl and her younger brother, Reggie, also a Riverside basketball star, worked the neighborhood courts. "I used to hide while he challenged guys to a game with him and his sister," Cheryl says. "The guys always used to think, 'Boy, we've made a quick $5.' Then I'd step out from where I was hiding and they'd see how tall I was." Her dad, Saul, the data processing manager at a hospital, built a half-court in his yard and bought video equipment to help his kids refine their game. Cheryl often practices with boys. "It helps," she says. "Guys are more physical than girls." The still-growing star (she thinks she'll reach 6'3") plays in AAU competitions in the off-season. Her devotion to her sport, she says, has led her "to give up a social life." But there have been compensations, such as the 200 or so college scholarship offers she's received. Says Miller: "I never thought being a tomboy would come to all this."