NEWBERRY — He doesn’t claim to shoot lights out like Reggie, but this Miller is taking a sweet jump shot to play for the Pacers.
Combo guard Trey Miller is taking the skills he honed on the courts of the Newberry YMCA and the Newberry High School gym to USC-Aiken. Miller signed Monday to play with the Pacers, a team with a winning tradition that made the Division 2 Final Four last season.
Miller, who volunteers at the YMCA, held his signing there to show children in its after-school program something they could aspire to.
“I held it (at the Y) because I wanted other people to share in the moment, not just those who are at Newberry High School,” Miller said.
The children had seem him working out there and were part of the day care when he volunteered after school.
Children who attend the YMCA after school program cheered for Miller as he recognized one of his dreams by signing to play college basketball.
Former coach Greg Stewart started working with Trey in grade 5 said even then he had a great work ethic and wanted to learn and get better.
“Trey is one of the most coachable kids to work with me at any level,” Stewart said. “I’m really happy for him and his family. It was definitely a family effort to get him where he is today.”
Athletics runs in Miller’s family. His grandfather played for Drayton Street High in football, basketball and baseball. He also played both guard spots and was a good ball-handler. Albert Miller Sr. said he was thankful to see his grandson take full advantage of the opportunities in front of him.
Trey Miller said Aiken was the right distance away from home but close enough his family could come see him play.
His mother Detra Miller said, “We are glad he is staying close enough to home that we can come see him play. This is a fantastic opportunity and we are so proud of Trey.”
Russell Dean, who coached Miller on the South Carolina Kings AAU team, said his work ethic and heart are what sets Miller apart.
“Because of his size, he makes up for that with tenacity that is unbelievable. He has this great will to win. I would just give him the ball (at point) and let him go to work,” Dean said.
Coach Chad Cary said he was glad Miller found the school that was the best fit for him.
“He’s a smart kid and a far better person than he is basketball player or student,” Cary said. “With his manners, presentation and talent, USC-Aiken gets the entire package in Trey.”
Miller plans to study physics or perhaps engineering while at USC-A.
“First and foremost, Trey is a high character kid,” USC-A Head Coach Vince Alexander said. “He has a good family that supports him and that’s one of the first things we look at is character.”
Alexander sees Miller as a combination guard, playing point or shooting guard.
“In our system our point guard usually is among the top three scorers on the team. We use a three-guard system (where ball-handling) is interchangeable except on the secondary break,” he said.
He said they try and fast break as much as possible. They run three half court offenses, one with ball screens, another with motion and freelance attacking and a third that is a set motion offense.
The Pacers only return two players from last season and there are three to four more open spots on the team, meaning Miller might be in line for early playing time next fall. Much depends on how quickly he transitions from high school basketball to college.
“We plan to build another team to uphold the high standards of the program and are excited to add Trey into that mix,” Alexander said.