Braxtin Miller, a transfer student athlete from Oklahoma State University, participates in practice at Ohio State for the upcoming season. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics

Braxtin Miller is turning heads for Ohio State athletics, but don’t adjust your television set, this isn’t 2011.

After leading Oklahoma State in steals and assists in the 2018-19 basketball season, the junior guard decided it was time to return to her home state and join the Buckeyes.

“The style of play wasn’t as fitting to me as a player,” Miller said. “It was my time to go, and I knew that I wanted to definitely come back closer to home, and so Ohio State was a great fit for me.” 

Miller averaged 16.1 points as a senior at Alter High School, leading the team to three consecutive state titles, earned All-Ohio honors and was named the Southwest District Player of the Year. Through her play, she earned offers from several schools in power conferences, including Oklahoma and Minnesota.

Growing up in Dayton, Miller said she was surrounded by Ohio State culture, and since Ohio State was her first offer, everyone expected her to choose the Buckeyes. Miller said people around her were shocked when she chose to go farther away for school. 

She said she originally chose Oklahoma State over Ohio State because she wanted to experience being farther away from home. 

In two years at Oklahoma State, she averaged 13.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 105 three-pointers — which landed her ninth in Oklahoma State history — and two All-Big 12 honorable mentions. 

Miller said Oklahoma State helped her get to know the style of college-level play. 

“It really helped me mature and build myself as a player and understand what it takes to be at this level,” Miller said. “I got a lot of lifelong friends from it too.”

Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said the coaching staff didn’t need to do a lot of background research on Miller, as they recruited her out of high school. When they found out she was leaving Oklahoma State, McGuff said they reached out to Miller and her mother to tell them they wanted her to join their program. 

At Ohio State, Miller is joining seven freshmen as new additions to the team this season. She said she was nervous about transferring because teams often already know each other, but with so many incoming recruits, she won’t be alone. 

“It was really great because we were all kind of new, so we could all form new friendships and relationships based on having so many new people,” Miller said. “It worked out really well for me, and it just so happened that we all really like each other and enjoy each other’s company.”

Sophomore forward Aaliyah Patty said she appreciates the experience Miller brings to the young team. Patty said Miller can tell the team what to expect from other teams or coaches because of her knowledge of playing at the college level.

“She knows how teams play; she knows what to expect,” Patty said. “I feel like she’s a leader in a big way, whether it’s talking or scoring.”

It’s still up in the air whether Miller will be granted immediate eligibility as a transfer. McGuff said they won’t know about her eligibility for a while, but is hopeful about her contribution to the team.

“She’s a very talented player,” McGuff said. “She’s got two years of high-level college experience, which is really beneficial because we have so many new people that haven’t really gone through the rigors of a college basketball season.”

With the season starting in a couple of weeks, Miller said Ohio State is full of both young and experienced talent, and she will be another leader to guide the team in the collegiate level. 

“I’m excited for my teammates. We have so much talent,” Miller said. “We are all so individually great, and I feel like if we just put all the pieces together in the right way I think it could be absolutely amazing.”