Mitchell's Alan Miller inducted in South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame's 2022 class
The former Stickney High School and Dakota Wesleyan basketball standout was one of 15 newly inducted members of the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame, which was recognized during a banquet and induction ceremony at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, becoming the first member of a talented basketball family to join the more than 300 members in the state’s club of athletic legends.
SIOUX FALLS — Sunday brought a special honor to South Dakota basketball great Alan Miller.
Miller, of Mitchell, was one of 15 newly inducted members of the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame, which was recognized during a banquet and induction ceremony at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, becoming the first member of a talented basketball family to join the more than 300 members in the state’s club of athletic legends.
As a part of a family that had 10 children, Miller followed his talented brothers Tom and Chris at Stickney High School and helped the Raiders bring a Class B basketball state championship to the small town in 1981 for coach Dan Moran. Following his brothers, Miller’s work ethic and talent began to blossom and as a junior at Stickney, Miller and his Raiders’ teammates made the Class B state tournament and finished in third place. The next year, the 6-foot-4 Miller moved to center and helped Stickney go 24-2 and claim the state title. More than 10,000 fans saw the state title game against Custer in Rapid City, and Miller would be named the state’s Mr. Basketball for 1981 and left as the school’s leading scorer.
Up next was Dakota Wesleyan University and the scoring continued for Miller under coaches Gordie Fosness and Jim Martin, following his brothers Tom and Chris to DWU.
From 1981 to 1985, Miller scored 2,920 points, becoming the state’s all-time collegiate men’s scoring leader until South Dakota State’s Mike Daum broke the record in 2019. He is one of only six DWU players in the Tigers’ storied 100-plus years of college basketball to score 2,000 points or more.
He is the Tigers’ leader in career-scoring average, posting 26.3 points per game, and Miller led the nation in scoring as a senior, averaging 32.5 points per game. He was a four-time all-South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference first-team selection and was twice the conference’s player of the year in 1984 and 1985, with DWU winning a share of the SDIC title in each of those seasons.
He was a two-time second-team NAIA All-American in 1983 and 1985, and an honorable mention All-American pick in between in 1984. Miller’s No. 50 is one of the Tigers’ retired numbers in the program’s men’s basketball history.
The rest of the class, listed in alphabetical order, included: Lemmon basketball standout Janel Birrenkott, Lakota Nation Invitational creator and coach Bryan Brewer, longtime Parker volleyball coach Jill Christensen, nationally renowned sprint car flag man Doug Clark, esteemed Aberdeen athletic trainer Dr. Kathie Courtney, former Northern State basketball standout Gary Evjen, Yankton track runner and coach Gene Johnson, Augustana women’s basketball coach Dave Krauth, former Sturgis basketball star Megan Mahoney, former South Dakota State and NFL football player Bill Matthews, Rapid City radio broadcaster Tom Rudebusch, former Madison track standout Jeff Schemmel, rodeo cowboy legend Paul Tierney, and former Rapid City basketball standout and coach Vince Whipple.
With these 15 inductees, the SDSHOF has 336 members. The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1968 by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association and is now managed by a group of volunteers from across that state.