|Updated: 2/21/2012 9:27 am
||Published: 2/20/2012 10:29 pm
Vian High School girls basketball Coach John Mays didn’t know what to expect when his team decided to play less than 24 hours after losing a star player.
Mays said 18-year-old Whitney Miller was diagnosed with the flu Wednesday and died Friday from pneumonia. Despite grieving and fighting to get over the loss of a great friend, her teammates suited up to take on Haskell on Saturday Afternoon.
Miller's cousin, Deidra Smith, plays on the team. She wore Miller’s number in the game and had her best performance. She said Whitney, also known as “Thriller Miller,” was her inspiration.
“I know she would want to play if it was me. I would want her too, just to honor her because she was just that kind of person," said Smith.
Coach Mays fighting through the tears said it took a lot for those girls to go out and play the way they did. He said it showed just how much Miller meant to this team.
"I could tell after a couple of minutes of playing that wasn't just want they wanted to do they wanted to win," Mays told FOX23.
And they did, beating Haskell 63-52 in honor of their teammate. It was how they paid tribute. But Deidra just wanted her to know, "I loved her," she said.
Whitney Miller’s Funeral is set for 3:30 Wednesday afternoon at the Vian High School Gym.
If you would like to help the family with those cost there is an account set up at the Armstrong bank in Vian.