James Miller is a 35 year old 182cm point guard from North Carolina that is playing his 14th professional season and third with Boras. He started his basketball career with : N.Carolina A&T (NCAA). He has played mostly in three countries in Europe in Belgium, France and Holland, but also played in Sweden, the States and Venezuela. He has been a scorer wherever he has played and led the Swedish league the last two seasons. Last season for Boras he played 47 games: Score-1(23.7ppg), 4.2rpg, Assists-4(4.8apg), 1.0spg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 87.1%,. He spoke to German Hoops before the Eurochallenge game against the Fraport Skyliners.
Thanks James for talking to German Hoops. Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time in Germany? What has been your impression of the country?
I have always had a very good impression of the country Germany. I never have played in their league, but played often in Germany in pre season games. Since I played in countries like Belgium and Holland, I had the chance to visit in holiday and really liked the Christmas markets.
You have played very much in countries like Holland and Belgium. Why haven´t you ever played for a team in Germany. Your game as a high scoring guard would have been perfect for the Beko BBL.
I did have interest from some teams, but it usually always came down to better offers and situations for me in Belgium or France.
Uppsala is number one in the Swedish standing, but Boras and a few other teams are right on their door step. Do you see the Swedish season going down to the wire with many teams having the chance to win the league title?
In my opinion there are four teams that will play for the Swedish title this season with Uppsala, Sodertalje, Norrkopping and us. It should be a good battle to the end of the season.
With what feelings did you go into the 2014 Eurochallenge competition? Your only other visit in a European basketball international competition was in 2005 with Amsterdam when you were 25. You are 35 now.
It has been a while since playing in the Uleb Cup with Amsterdam. I have been excited again to be able to play in an international competition where you play against the best and also have the chance to visit other countries. I like our chance in our group. IT is a competitive group, but we have chance.
Both the Fraport Skyliners and Boras have a 1-1 record and this will be a must win for both teams. What kind of game can we expect and what will be key to winning the game?
We know that this will be a tough game, because both teams are 1-1. It wont be easy winning in Germany, but we have to be prepared from the start and be focused for 40 minutes.
You were the top scorer in the Swedish league the last two seasons. Currently you are fourth top scorer. Do you think that you can defend your title again and win a third?
I think that it is possible, but to be honest I haven´t really focused on it the last two years when I was top scorer. In the last two season I actually noticed it in the last two weeks of the season. I think that it has been more as a by product of the team that I have been able to score so much. I never go into the season thinking about being the scoring leader.
You really can do it all as a guard, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I think my defense is a hidden strength mainly because people notice my scoring. I just try to stay in front of my man and harass him as much as possible and hope for transition opportunities to result. My coaches are aware that I can defend.
How enjoyable has it been playing with Christopher Mcknight the last two seasons? He is 26 and still has many years ahead of him. Do you see him making the next step to the next level soon?
I have really enjoyed playing with Chris. I feel that he can go as high as he wants, because of his mentality. He is a very tough player and the key ingredient for him is that he wants to always get better. I think that if he continues to improve that he will be able to make the next level.
So far in your basketball career you have played in 6 countries and for 14 teams. Do you sometimes feel like you have been a basketball European globetrotter? Do you see yourself settling down now and finishing your career with Boras?
I definitely feel like a European globetrotter. I wouldn´t trade it for anything because I have met so many different people along the way and it has always been a great experience. I have built great relationships along the way. Boras has treated me very well and if everything fits I see no problem finishing my career with Boras.
Early in your career you played with Gent(Belgium) and your teammate was American John Turek who had stats of 13 and 10 that season. What memories do you have of the big man? He is still playing and this season in Poland.
Turek is a great guy that is very family orientated and we are both Christian guys and we had many bible studies in the past. On the court he was always hard nosed and that has showed as he is still playing.
You won your only title in Europe in 2005 with Amsterdam which was the national cup. What memories do you have from that season in general including the Uleb Cup?
I have great memories of that Amsterdam season as that was a great team. In the ULEB cup we won every game except one and couldn´t advance because of the point difference. In the league play we could have had a good chance of winning it, but had two key injuries near the end of the season that hurt us. One of my teammates was Teddy Gipson and he is one of the best players that I have ever played with.
When I give you the date of December 30th, 2000 what comes into mind?
Yes the Duke game. My most memorable time in college.
North Carolina A&M lost badly to Duke 108-73, but you led all scorers with 34 points and future NBA player Shane Battier scored 31 points. What do you remember from this game. Was this the classic I am in the zone game for you?
Yes definitely got in the zone in that game. I remember that we found out shortly before the game that we would have to play against the number one team in the country without two of our starters. I told myself that it was time for me to take it on myself to give my team the best chance to win with my play. Duke played very aggressive and I got some baskets early which put me in an uphill direction and after that it was easy going getting baskets. Duke had many future NBA players and I remember Jason Williams and how competitive he was. He later had an accident that shortened his career.
What memories do you have from Chris Duhon in this game? You did your thing with 34 points and he dished out 13 assists. Did he come up to you after the game and say nice game Bro?
Yes all those future NBA players were class acts. Chris Duhon and I are good friends. I think that because both schools were only about 45 minutes away, we had a chance to cross paths.
Not only are many great basketball players born and bred in Ohio, but also in North Carolina. Is it something in the food in North Carolina that makes such great players?
That is a good question. I think many of the best players come from North Carolina. It is a basketball state. WE have best college schools in North Carolina and kids see at a young age what basketball there is and they just want to play. There are many leagues and kids have the chance to get better.
Where will the journey of the Charlotte Hornets end this season?
I think that they will reach the playoffs. I don´t know if they will get out of the east, but they should make the second round.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Lucy. It was a decent movie.
Thanks James for the chat.