If you are going to talk about basketball in Mitchell, it is hard to do so without mentioning the Miller name.
Alan Miller and his children Jordan, Jade and Macy have all starred on the Corn Palace court in Mitchell and now they have decided to return the favor by hosting the Miller Family Basketball Clinic on July 31 at Mitchell High School.
This won’t be the first basketball camp in Mitchell that Alan Miller has conducted, but this is the first in which his kids will help coach, with four former collegiate standouts teaching kids in grades 4th-through-12th grade for a cost of $25.
“I coached and ran camps all the time with (nephews) Mike and Ryan and (brother) Tom,” Alan said. “We’ve taken a little break from it and I thought it would be good to have the kids do that. We’re always interested in Mitchell basketball and within the state. I just think it’s a great way to give back.”
Of course, Alan Miller’s 2,920 points from 1981 to 1985 are the most in the history of Dakota Wesleyan University, while Jordan is fourth on the all-time list at Division II Southwest Minnesota State with 1,563 points and Jade is No. 19 in DWU annals with 1,447 points.
Macy Miller recently capped off a collegiate career as the leading scorer at South Dakota State and the Summit League with 2,355 points and recently spent training camp with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm.
During her short stint with the Storm, Miller was able to pick up a few tidbits that she is excited to impart on campers at the end of the month before traveling to Spain in September to play for Universitario de Ferrol in the WBB League.
“I learned a lot of cool stuff in Seattle -- stuff I hadn’t learned in my basketball career,” Macy said. “Stuff like having balance when I shoot. Some of the drills were having to jump 180 degrees and shoot a shot. To me, that seemed crazy, but it just helps you balance. I just want to teach the kids that you have to have balance to be a good shooter.”
The Mitchell High School all-time leading scorer is spending this summer working camps with Tri-State Ambush Basketball, a company Jordan also works with.
While Jordan has attended and coached at a variety of camps over the years, the Miller clinic is going to have a feature others do not. Alan lined up speakers from the South Dakota Army National Guard to speak to high school-aged campers.
“There’s different routes to take going through life and I think that’s going to help having somebody there to speak with them,” Jordan said. “Not every kid is going to be able to play college basketball, not every kid is going to be able to go to college, so just being able to be with them, work with them and partner with them in a camp is a cool opportunity that I haven’t seen until now.”
Alan Miller has always focused on fundamentals throughout his coaching career and this clinic will reflect that, which Jade believes is a change of pace with camps he has attended in the past.
Most of those drills -- such as dribbling around cones, layups and around-the-horn-shooting -- are applicable to games.
“I’ve gone to a handful of skills camps and I’ve been around a handful of skills camps and a lot of those don’t really work on fundamentals a lot,” Jade said. “A lot of times they do these more advanced drills and I feel like they try to do a little too much. A lot of these Miller-based workouts tend to be a lot more fundamentally based, trying to make sure you’re working on things that are used in games.”
While the Millers are waiting until the camp is completed to make any decisions on the future, they are hoping it is successful enough to be an annual affair.
That is if schedules permit, with Jordan working in Sioux Falls as a mortgage banker, Macy in Spain and Jade serving as a math teacher and assistant basketball coach at Milbank.
“I could see it happening,” Macy said. “We have a pretty close family, so being able to do this together and making time for each other is really cool. I could see it being an annual thing, coming back to Mitchell and sharing everything about basketball.”
Girls in 4th-through-7th grade will play from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., while girls in 8th-through-12th grade play from 10 a.m. until noon. Boys in 4th-through-7th grade play from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and boys from 8th-through-12th grade take the floor from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Checks can be made payable to Miller Family BB Clinic and should be mailed to 312 Charles Street, Mitchell, South Dakota 57301. Walk-in registrations are welcome.