By Chris Yow
MURFREESBORO — While the video game ‘NBA Jam’ preceded Miya Cole Brown’s birth by a decade or more, the iconic colored shoes of a player who scored three baskets in a row and was deemed ‘on fire’ still resonates through pop culture.
On Friday, the Summertown senior outside hitter was most certainly ‘on fire’ as she led her team to a second straight state volleyball championship, whilst being named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Her secret to success? It’s gotta be the shoes. Nike shoes mimic the pineapple house where Spongebob Squarepants lived in Bikini Bottom.
OK, maybe it’s not all the shoes, but they definitely set her apart, and, well — that’s the point. Why does she don the unique style on the court?
“Did you notice them? That’s the point,” she said. “I want people to notice me coming on the court and then see me hit.”
Her teammates and coach don’t mind the unique sneakers, and that’s probably because Brown backs up her style with her play.
“I love her shoes, they’re cute and fun,” 2019 state championship MVP Katie Burdette said. “Her energy keeps us pumped, and she stepped up to lead.”
Summertown coach Andrea Kelly praised her leadership and effort as well.
“Miya Cole is not only a great player; she has the killer drive attitude,” she said. “I knew when they stepped on the court today, she and the other seniors were going to lead us to victory.”
All business on the court, but bringing a little fun and — sometimes — a few hard high-fives.
“Her high fives are hard,” Burdette said. “Your hands get a little sore, some welts even.”
Brown added, “They say my high-fives hurt worse than getting something smashed on their hand. Sometimes they get a little scared.”
The high-fives are as hard-hitting as her kills on the floor. When she gets a chance, she’s going to put the ball on the ground a lot. In the championship match, she had 12 kills and a 39% kill percentage.
Do Spongebob shoes make her better? Probably not, but there’s no doubt they will help her leave her legacy on top of Class A volleyball and in a pineapple under the sea.