Categorized | Basketball, News, Sports

Lady Mustangs center Mya McMillian signs with Liberty University

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Marble Falls High School senior basketball player Mya McMillian (seated, center) signs her National Letter of Intent on Nov. 13 to play for Liberty University. She is surrounded by sister Aaliyah (seated, left), mother Lauren Berkman, sister Allyssa (standing), Marble Falls High School interim athletics director Mike Birdwell, brother Beckett, and father John Berkman, who is also the Lady Mustangs coordinator and head basketball coach. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Marble Falls High School senior basketball player Mya McMillian (seated, center) signs her National Letter of Intent on Nov. 13 to play for Liberty University. She is surrounded by sister Aaliyah (seated, left), mother Lauren Berkman, sister Allyssa (standing), Marble Falls High School interim athletics director Mike Birdwell, brother Beckett, and father John Berkman, who is also the Lady Mustangs coordinator and head basketball coach. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

MARBLE FALLS — Marble Falls High School senior basketball center Mya McMillian made her commitment to Liberty University official Nov. 13 when she signed her National Letter of Intent.

She had announced her commitment to the Christian university in September.

“It feels like you’re starting a new chapter in your life,” she said with a smile. “I always complain about waking up early. I’m not a morning person, and I’m going to have to work out during multiple times of the day. It’s a great opportunity for me.”

Liberty University is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, and McMillian, who stands 6 feet 3 inches, loved the campus and bonded with coaches and players when she visited. She called the trip “perfect.”

She has balanced being a student-athlete well. She is ranked in the top 10 of her class, works at Chik-fil-A, and averaged 15.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest a year ago.

In short, she could have attended college on an academic scholarship, but she couldn’t give up basketball.

“Liberty has a great balance between the two,” she said. “I really would have missed out on basketball. After I’m done playing basketball, I want to have something to fall back on.”

The daughter of Lauren and John Berkman plans to major in accounting and pursue a career in either forensics accounting, which involves examining statements for fraud or theft, or financial accounting. Her father is the Marble Falls High School girls coordinator and head basketball coach.

“She’s worked really hard to get to this point,” he said. “We’re excited for her and hope you are as well.”

Interim athletics director Mike Birdwell said obtaining even a partial scholarship is challenging.

“To get an opportunity to continue and have a full scholarship percentage-wise doesn’t happen often,” he said.

McMillian said being a Lady Mustang has helped her prioritize her day and to not buy into what the experts believe about a program.

“It doesn’t matter what people think of you,” she said. “I feel like the hard part is yet to come, learning to manage time and balance everything.”

As for the season, McMillian said the team’s goal is to win the Class 5A Region IV crown and advance to the state tournament for the second time in school history. The Lady Mustangs made it to the Class 4A state tournament in 2006-07, where they fell to eventual state champion Fort Worth Dunbar 59-47 in the semifinals.

The team finished the 2016-17 season with a 26-11 overall record and as the District 26-5A runners-up. During the Class 5A Region IV tournament semifinals, they lost to Flour Bluff 46-28.

“Everybody loves each other; the bond is strong,” McMillian said. “We have to fix a few things, but we’ll be good.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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