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Posted On: 02/7/18 5:00 AM
Jalen Miller, a class of 2021 point guard at Saint James School, has been remarkably consistent in his first varsity season. The reliable freshman has earned rave reviews from his high school coaches for his performances thus far this season.
“My game, as a point guard, has to be very consistent in the game. I take the smartest shots for the team in order to win, I make the right plays and looks to get my teammates open, and I hustle as much as I can on every play whether it is offensively or defensively,” Miller said of his overall game. “My role on the team specifically is to run the team while we are on the floor. With this role, it takes a lot of responsibility to keep the team under control, especially when the tempo of the game continues to speed up or sometimes slow down. I use this role on the team as an advantage to show different levels of leadership as a point guard.
A big reason why Miller has been ready to contribute from day 1 this season is because of his preparation. He spent his eighth grade year at St. James, and practiced wit the varsity for a full season.
“In the last 12 months, my most improved aspect of my game is my defense. Last year as I practiced with varsity and played with the 8th grade “Junior” team, I learned a lot on what it takes to play at an elite high school level,” he explained. “The athleticism has changed from a good level to a phenomenal level. The one game that really improved my defense from then on is when we lost to Oak Hill by 10. Then, I realized how hard I played that game, I needed to play even harder the rest of my life to get to where I want to. I would like to continue to improve on defense every day I can get the chance to, especially when we play nationally ranked teams.”
As a point guard, one thing Miller takes pride in is his ability to distribute the ball effectively. His maturity and attention to detail is quite uncommon for such a young player.
“I pass the ball EFFECTIVELY. By this, I mean I make the smartest pass that can set someone up for success on my team,” Miller began. “I make each possession purposeful, as I am constantly reminded by my coaches to do so. When I attack gaps, I draw the defense in order to draw contact and finish, or there is usually someone on my team making a good cut so I can set them up.”
Miller acknowledges the need to on develop a consistent pull up jumper. He understands that doing this will take his game to another level, becoming less predictable and more lethal.
“Sometimes when I split the defense and get into the lane, I have the opportunity to get a pull up off, but before I start doing that, I would like to improve on it and make it consistent.”
Miller remains focused off the court. He is a dedicated student who aims high in the classroom and understands the value of education.
“Right now, I have started off in school better than last year, as I have adjusted to the boarding school life better. Right now I am making honor roll, but I would like to get straight A’s as I continue to adjust and get smarter.”
What can Miller bring to a college program down the road?
“As I watch college basketball, talk to great coaches, former NBA players, all of those who know the game and have experienced it at the highest levels, I think I could bring another level of understanding of the game of basketball. This alone can take me far because as there is a lot of talent that does not go as far as they can because they do not understand the game at the level they need to. If I take my understanding of the game, mix it with my work ethic and skills, I will use it to my full advantage and go as far as I can.”