Mitchell native and former NBA player Mike Miller said in a statement Thursday he's excited to join Penny Hardaway's coaching staff at the University of Memphis, while news came down about the future of the basketball ventures bearing his name.
The statement has indicated that the M33M AAU traveling team, which is based out of Memphis, will be renamed the Hoop City Basketball Club.
The university has yet to officially announce Miller's hiring, but multiple outlets reported he's set to join Hardaway's first staff at Memphis.
"I love this city and its passion for the game that's given me everything I have," Miller stated. "I'm so excited at the prospect of joining Coach Hardaway at Memphis in no small part due to the fact that basketball is woven into the fabric of this city, right here in our own backyard. Memphis is truly a basketball city."
Miller's annual basketball classic in Mitchell and Sioux Falls-the Mike Miller Classic-also appears to be in the midst of a name change, according to the event's Twitter page. The Twitter page is no longer mentions Mike Miller and has been changed to @HoopCityClassic. The Mike Miller Classic web site has been taken down.
Mike Miller Classic President and Mitchell native Ernie Kuyper did not return a phone call from The Daily Republic seeking comment about the future of the event.
M33M, the Adidas sponsored organization named after Miller, also announced it will change its name to Hoop City Basketball Club for NCAA compliance reasons. The statement said the change has been in the works for some time.
"Mike has been a fabulous ambassador for our program, but what we've seen here in Memphis over the past decade transcends any one person or player, and it's time to wish Mike well and move forward and break new ground. We've traveled the country and nowhere is basketball more special than right here in Memphis. Memphis is Hoop City, and we feel like it's time for our brand to reflect that," Kuyper said in the statement.
The official name change to Hoop City Basketball is effective immediately, according to the release.
"As we transition to our new name, we remain committed and proud of our M33M legacy and all the good work we've done in the community," Kuyper added. "That part of our mission won't change. It's all about the kids. Our good work will continue."