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Miller enjoying coaching stint

The transition from player to coach has been quick for Jade Miller. This time last year, Miller was starting for the Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team. But now, the former standout who helped the Mitchell Kernels play in back to ba...

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The transition from player to coach has been quick for Jade Miller.

This time last year, Miller was starting for the Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team.

But now, the former standout who helped the Mitchell Kernels play in back to back state championship games in 2011 and 2012 has taken a job as Mitchell's eighth-grade basketball coach.

"It's gone really well," said Miller, who was officially hired by the Mitchell School District on Dec. 1. "The eighth-grade boys that I've come across have been pretty good and they enjoy playing basketball."

Serving as a student-teacher in Mitchell, Miller said he happened to be in the right place at the right time for the middle school coaching job.

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"I wasn't seeking coaching right away, but when I was offered, I figured it'd be a good experience for me," Miller said. "I'll see how this experience goes and where my teaching job leads me."

The former Tiger and Kernel said he's not sure if he'll continue to pursue coaching in the future. After finishing student teaching, Miller said his coaching future will be dictated by the location of his first teaching job.

For now, Miller is focused on adjusting the move from playing on the court to coaching on the sideline.

"I can see where all the coaches' headaches come from versus a player's frustrations. It's such a different experience, that's for sure," he said.

As a player, Miller scored 1,444 points for the Tigers, which is 17th on the school's all-time list. As a Kernel, Miller played on longtime coach Gary Munsen's final team, a season that ended with a second-place finish in the Class AA state tournament.

Now Miller is learning how to pass along his basketball knowledge onto younger players, something he admitted will take some getting used to.

"Besides me trying to help teach them how to do something, I can't, myself, go affect the outcome of the game," Miller said. "I have to watch from the sideline and hope they play to the best of their abilities."

The eighth-grade boys kick off their season after the new year, with their first game on Jan. 5 against Harrisburg at Mitchell Middle School.

Related Topics: KERNELSBASKETBALL
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