Christopher Miller (192-G-93, college: Salem) is a 28 year old 193cm guard from Brooklyn, New York who is playing his seventh professional season and third with 9: VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga). He has had experience in countries like El Salvador and Bosnia. He recently played for the South Shore Monarchs (TBL) playing 8 games averaging 22.4ppg, 5.6rpg, 4.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 83.3%. he began his basketball career at Clinton Community College and also played two years at Salem University (NCAA2). He spoke to eurobasket before signing with Giessen about basketball.
Chris thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?
Thank You for having me on. I am in route to Giessen at the moment. Basketball has always been a blessing I’m just happy to be playing at a high level.
It has been more than two years where we last had an interview. Has time flown in that time?
Yes !!For sure, it doesn’t even feel like 2 years. For the most part I’ve been busy playing and coaching. All that plus the Corona pause . It felt like I blinked twice and its 2021.
Talk a bit about how you experienced COVID in the last year and a half? What were the biggest challenges for you on and off the court?
During the beginning of Covid I was in China Coaching a Basketball Academy. I came home for vacation and wasn’t allowed back in the country. It’s been tough to find work because every thing was shut down. It was also tough to stay active. The free time was great for a little while but it was just a difficult and confusing time overall.
With everything that you saw off the court how do you think did COVID make you stronger as a man?
Absolutely. This pandemic taught me what was most important in life. I had a lot of time to reflect on my life so far and really separate the negatives and the positives and setting my goals for the future. This year and a half really opened up another level of hunger for me.
It has been more than two years ago since we last spoke. You last played for the South Shore Monarchs (TBL) playing8 games averaging 22.4ppg, 5.6rpg, 4.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 83.3%. What kind of an experience was it playing in the TBL?
The TBL is a great League. The commissioners work very hard to keep the league entertaining and successful. I am happy to be a part of it. The competition is high level also . There are lots of Ex NBA G league overseas guys who were playing this year so every game you had to be ready . As I said I have another level of focus so my goal was to prove that I belong And I also won second team all conference. So it was a good season for me.
What was it like coming home and playing professional in the States after being overseas so long? Was it frightening seeing how the game is played with less team play than overseas?
It felt great to finally be in a league that’s professional state side . My life could be the same for once and I really enjoyed my family attending the games. None of them were able to see me play a professional game in person before this summer, so I was happy with that . The game play was more like a NBA setting and it was actually a lot of team play and sets being ran. I was able to show a lot of my point guard skills and I took a lot of the things I learned over the years in Europe and applied it here.
You dominated the TBL. How important was it playing well and gaining self confidence for your next challenge?
I was blessed to be a part of a club who believed that I can lead them. I see post pandemic basketball as a second chance and my goal was not take it for granted. I attacked every game and I am very happy with the results. I am ready for the next challenge and to prove I can do this at the higher levels also.
In the 20-21 season you played for the first time in Bosnia with KK Radnicki Gorazd (Bosnia-A1 Liga FBIH). What kind of an experience was it playing in the country Bosnia? How do you feel did your game grow there?
Playing a few years in Germany I have always had Bosnian born teammates who all had this tough High IQ Style of basketball. I always knew if we played against one of those guys it would be a long game. Playing out there I learned about the culture and how basketball is very important to them I began to understand my former coaches and teammates from the area. I am happy I got to play in another country in Europe and adapt well to their style while also staying true to my personal game.
Did you have some kind of neat experience there off the court that you will never forget that showed you how Bosnia is as a country?
I lived in a small mountain village which had a river running right down the middle of it. The views were amazing Going to the top of the mountain and just seeing the cities and experiencing the food was great for me.
How do you feel are you a better player now then you were when you dominated in El Salvador? It seems like you are an even more complete player now.
I feel like I have gotten older more mature and know my game as opposed to before trying to please everyone. Now I know what I can do and I know more of how to play. I always felt I had the talent and sometimes wasn’t taken seriously because of the levels I played in, but as a guy who started from the bottom leagues I guess it’s part of the game. I am happy this year I played and dominated in 2 different leagues against higher competition.
You continue to be a very potent defender. How do you feel have you grown in this area and do you feel like you can still make the next step as a lock down defender?
Defense was my first specialty. When I was younger that would be the only way I could score sometimes. I always feel there is more room for improvement. Also coming back to Germany I was number 3 in the Country in steals, I have to get that number 1 spot . I have a goal of being a lock down defender and I would love to get Defensive player of the year.
On what area’s of your game have you been concentrating on most in the lab as you always continue to get better as a player?
I have been focusing on showing I can be a scoring (Point guard ) not combo guard I have been working on tons of screen and rolls, getting more comfortable at the point guard and helping others get shots while staying aggressive looking for my own offensive game. After playing this long it’s more about IQ and being as efficient as possible for me.
You played two successful seasons with the Giessen Pointers that really helped give you a name in Germany. Do you still have contact to teammates and head coach Daniel Doer?
Well me and coach Doer were teammates my first year there. We have always been good friends and stayed in contact. I respect him as a coach and I am happy he transitioned well into life after a player. I just hope he doesn’t believe he can beat me in a midrange shooting competition.
What memories do you have of German guard Lucas Meyer? He has played in the Pro B in Germany and is a very talented player that should continue to get an opportunity at a higher level down the road.
I see a lot of myself when I was younger. Talented player dedicated trying to get it all together and being told to wait his turn. I am super happy for him he figured it out and will continue to get better. I always knew he was a top talent now it’s time for everyone else to see. I believe he can be a key player in the higher leagues.
I was always wondering why you didn’t continue to play in Germany? How big is your itch to play in Germany and play in the Pro B a league where you could surely shine?
You know I would love to play Pro B and higher. I had a few looks to play before the pandemic but after all those spots were full. I felt I did enough to get respect from the higher leagues in Germany with all I have done. But I will never know. You right now I am focused on Giessen Pointers and showing myself how much better of a player I have become. I will get to the higher levels one way or the other.
What is the next step for you? How was the transfer market and where do you want to play most?
My goal is and always will be to play the highest level I can play. I will continue to push for that and I honestly feel this is my time to show that. I am happy with what I did so far with winning the championship scoring titles etc. But I’m not at all satisfied.
You have without a doubt been the most successful player to come out of Ron Howards tour in the last years. Do you still have contact to him and do you ask him for advice even today?
I always appreciate Ron. We speak very often he still gives me advice and help. I am glad I made the decision to come to his tour. He has a great thing going with his program and I am happy to be a part of it.
Did you watch the 2021 NBA finals. Should one call Chris Paul a chocker? Four times his team led 2-0 in the playoffs in his career and he couldn’t get the series win.
I honestly thought he would take the championship. I learned a valuable lesson from Chris Paul and it’s to stay the course and not celebrate to early . Each series he starts off locked in but gets too comfortable and lets his foot off the gas. I wouldn’t call him a chocker but I was really disappointed to see that outcome.
Will the Lakers win the 2022 title with Westbrook and Anthony? How much does having had so many great players on his side hurt the legacy of Lebron James? Shouldn’t he have won more titles by now?
I think A healthy Brooklyn is the Champion. I personally do not think Lebron and Westbrook will work. It does not hurt his legacy He can retire today and still be a first ballot hall of famer.
Has there been a worse free agency for a player the way Dennis Schroeder went from getting a four year 80 million deal with the Lakers to only 6 million form the Celtics?
I believe he will do great this year in Boston. He brings what they lack. I know the money is a crazy difference but I feel that overall he will have a great season. Also these guys are MILLIONAIRES. So I’m sure he will be just fine.
Did you see the sequel to Coming To America? Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?
I honestly didn’t because I heard too many bad reviews about it so I decided to leave my memory with the original movie.
Thanks Chris for the chat.