Isabella Mills is the leader the women’s basketball team needs


Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

Fourth-year Isabella Mills broke the women’s basketball program record for number of 3-point shots in a game and set her career-high of 36 points during the game against WashU.

Paola Van der Linden Costello, Staff Writer

There are 2:20 minutes left in the fourth quarter in the Horsburgh Gymnasium on Friday, Jan. 20. CWRU is up when fourth-year guard/forward Isabella Mills makes another 3-point jump shot—her 10th of the night. The audience cheers as they celebrate Mills’ 30 points, soon to be 36 by the end of the game.

Although this may seem like just another Friday night game, Mills made history by scoring a career high of 36 points and setting the program record of 3-pointers made in a single game with 10 shots. 

“The weekend before our WashU game our team didn’t have the greatest shooting performance,” said Mills. “I got into the gym during the week and got a lot of shots up so I could be confident going into Friday. I never thought that game would go the way it did. In the first half, I was feeling it so I kept shooting and then in the second half when they started to take away my shot, I decided to just focus more on getting defensive stops and let my teammates take the wheel on offense. My teammates kept finding me so when I had an open look I took it and honestly just felt like I couldn’t miss! I am happy I was able to perform so well, but what really mattered to me was winning that game and I am so proud of our team for doing that.”

For Mills, being part of a team is important and valuable, and she chose basketball because of this opportunity. 

“One of the main reasons I actually continued with basketball and soccer over tennis was because they were both team sports. There is nothing like being on a team and having constant support from people working towards the same goals. Your team becomes like family and I love being able to share so many memories with some of my best friends.” 

As team captain, she leads and brings her team together: “My coach has always taught me to lead by example and I try to do that by always showing up ready to play and coming into each game or practice with a positive attitude. My teammates and I push each other by holding ourselves accountable and showing up to everything ready to compete.”

Her teammates also applaud her leadership. Second-year guard/forward Lucy Vanderbeck said, “Isabella is genuinely one of the best captains and teammates I’ve ever had. She is so passionate about what she does and it’s evident in how hard she works and all she does for us both on and off the court.” 

Third-year guard Sarah Mitchell also added, “Isabella is the heart and soul of this team. She exemplifies leadership on and off the floor in so many ways. Isabella is really special because you don’t often see great players who score the ball really well, and do all the little things like rebounding and working on the defensive end of the floor. I think the whole team is just really happy to see her succeeding and we are all so grateful to be a part of her last season playing.”

Mills has had an amazing trajectory with CWRU’s basketball team. However, she played all sorts of sports growing up, saying, “I played soccer, basketball, and tennis growing up. Soccer was always my favorite when I was younger, however, I had a basketball coach in middle school that completely changed my game and I started to love it. In high school I had to choose between basketball and soccer because of the time commitments and basketball won out.”

Her decision to stick with basketball continues to yield impressive results in her collegiate career and her leadership and skills as a basketball player have not gone unnoticed. During this season she has averaged 16.9 points, shooting 39.6% from both the field goal and the 3-point range. An exceptional player and person, we hope to continue watching her success during the rest of the season on and off the court.