Editor’s Note: This story was written by and republished with the permission of the Big Red Sports Network, which provides excellent Cornell sports coverage throughout the year for alumni, parents, students and fans everywhere.

BRSN sat down to talk with Shonn Miller, a star player on the Cornell basketball team. On Tuesday, The New York Times called Miller “one of the most accomplished players in program history and a candidate for Ivy League player of the year this season.”

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Here’s the transcript of BRSN’s interview with Miller:

BRSN: Shonn, thanks for taking the time out to speak with us. After defeating Harvard on Friday, you moved the Crimson from the outright first place spot in the Ivy League into a tie with Yale. How did it feel for you, and as a team, to knock off Harvard, especially in front of Newman Nation on senior weekend?

SM: For myself and the rest of the seniors, it was a great feeling because it was the first time we had beaten them in our entire career. That may have been added motivation going into that game as well. We all knew that it was one of our last chances to play in front of our home fans and we wanted to make memories and go out with a bang.

BRSN: You eclipsed the 1,000 career point mark on Friday, and stand as one of only 25 Cornell players to do so. What does this accomplishment mean to you, as you further etch your name into the program record books?

SM: Reaching that milestone was very special to me. Although it is an individual accolade, I feel as though it is a team accomplishment. Of the three different teams that I’ve played on, each person on those teams provided help to put me in a position to be able to put the ball in the basket, so the credit really goes to those guys.

BRSN: Coming into senior weekend, what was the atmosphere like around the team and the locker room? What was the mentality of yourself and the rest of the team going into Friday and Saturday?

SM: I’d say the atmosphere was electric and exciting because all of the underclassmen wanted to send the seniors out on a good note. We were focused all week in practice and wanted to come out and execute our game plan. 

BRSN: After missing your whole junior season due to the shoulder surgery, can you talk briefly about returning to have such an outstanding senior campaign?

SM: Sitting out last year allowed me to view the game from a different perspective and gave me a new appreciation for basketball. Sitting on the sidelines and feeling that there is so much you could do to help your team, but physically not being able to go out and do it is a feeling that I’ll never forget. Coming into this year, I just wanted to fully take advantage of the opportunity in front of me and put my best foot forward.

BRSN: Looking back on the beginning of the year, how do you think the team has changed and improved over the course of the season?

SM: I think that we’ve definitely grown a lot since our first game down at George Mason. The underclassmen have matured a lot and as a team, we’ve learned how to better deal with adversity. 

BRSN: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you that you would like to share with fans of Cornell and, more specifically, Big Red basketball?

SM: A lot of people see me and think that I’m a really quiet and reserved person, and for the most part I am, but when I get on the court I’m a completely different person. Whether that’s getting on guys when they make certain mistakes or motivating people to get them at their best. I’m a lot more vocal than people would think.

BRSN: While wrapping up a terrific career for the Big Red, what are some of your most memorable experiences or highlights of your time on the hill?

SM: Some of my most memorable highlights boil down to being around my teammates and hanging out and having fun. From the trip to Vegas to hanging out in Ithaca on New Year’s when no one else is around, I definitely think that being around the people who I’m going to be friends with for the rest of my life is the thing I’ve enjoyed the most.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.