Chris Miller Continues To Prove He Is Howard Hoops Greatest Alumni As He Continues To Climb The Basketball Ladder

It has been more than 6.5 years since my first interview with Christopher Miller (192-G-1993, college: Salem). Back in September 2016, Isaac Bonga was still rather unknown and 2 years away from being a Laker, Luca Doncic was starting to do his thing in the Euroleague while NBA executives had no idea who he was except maybe Mark Cuban and Jayson Tatum hadn’t played a minute yet in the NCAA with Duke University. Time has really flown and back then Christopher Miller had just played a less than spectacular rookie season in the States with the semi pro league team Jamestown Jackals (PBL).He had played 2 years at Salem State University and never averaged more than 4,0ppg and now had aspirations of playing overseas. With no real resume, how the heck was he going to achieve that?. He luckily came in contact with Ron Howard a basketball junkie who had played overseas and wanted to give back to the basketball community and help young unproven but hungry players somehow get noticed and get their bodies into the door by organizing games with pro teams and helping them get signed with Howard Hoops. The majority of guys that actually get a job isn’t big, but some guys do make it. Some guys may play 1-2 years, but with bad pay return home and get a normal job. Sometimes guys get lucky and Christopher Miller was one of them. He played at the Howard Hoops exhibition in 2016 and exceled and got a job with VFL Bensheim. He had these words for me in our first ever interview. ‘I worked my whole life for this moment and now it’s time to embrace it’. He sure as heck did that as more than 6,5 years later and not 30 yet, he finished his 7th season overseas and the rest is history.

Since his rookie season with VFL Bensheim where he led the German Regionalliga 2 in scoring the Brooklyn New York native has played in El Salvador and Bosnia, but played most of his time in Germany for the Giessen Pointers where he was for 3 seasons. He became a top player in the German Regionalliga (4th league) and began this season with his old team VFL Bensheim, but then took on a new challenge and made the jump and live in the Swiss alps and played with the Goldcoast Wallabies (Switzerland-NLB) helping lead them to the playoffs. The team played a tough team called Morges-Saint-Prex in the playoffs who swept them during the regular season. After winning game 1, they lost the next 2 and their season ended. Their opponent let up 86 points in the first loss, but then stepped up their defense and allowed only 66 points on average in the last 2 games. ‘We are disappointed with the outcome of the post season especially after winning game 1. Credits to them, they showed to be the better team over a 3 game series. I’m not sure exactly but I’m sure they did focus on defense more just being menaces and tough. They won a-lot of 50/50 situations and got us in foul trouble’, said Christopher Miller. The club had a poor start to the regular season, but showed everyone that their second half wasn’t a fluke. ‘I feel that rocky start messed us up. We have been in playoff mode since January climbing from bottom of the league to highest 5th seed. Our second half run was amazing and I think we ran out of gas when we needed it the most’, stated Christopher Miller. The team had some veterans, but also had a lot of young talent and he is confident for the future of the team and is proud how they reacted after the slow start. ‘Our team is full of U22 players minus the imports. I hope they can take a-lot from this feeling and channel it into a positive way moving forward. I still think talent wise this is one of the best teams I have played for. I think we started off the second half with new focus and after a tough training camp over Christmas break we won a tough match up against GC which sparked our 9 game win streak. Looking back that week and game gave us a lot of momentum’, stressed Christopher Miller.

The versatile guard who can fill the stat sheet like no other and feels the Phoenix Suns can win it all this season had a real challenge coming from Germany to Switzerland, but he proved he can adapt to anywhere and rapidly. ‘This season was a lot for me honestly. I started 5 games with Bensheim. Then completely changed leagues / teams and got thrown into the fire. It was a bunch of learning and adjusting on the fly. It took a while to learn my teammates and the culture here. My main focus was just to show I can be a dominant player in this league and I did everything in my power to achieve that. I’m happy with this season. Blessed to be finishing up my 8th year on a good note’, commented Christopher Miller. With Wallabies he averaged 20,6ppg, 4,8rpg, 4,4apg and 2,9spg and shot a potent 37% from outside. He had had some very strong and consistent seasons with the Giessen Pointers, but was this season his best in Europe? ‘Overall I think this was one of my more complete seasons. To finish in top 3 in almost every category really shows the work that’s being put in during the offseason. I don’t think it’s the league per-say. I just think I came in with a-little bit more to prove no matter where it was’, warned Christopher Miller. The American who began his basketball career at Clinton Community College really showed his scoring skills, but also showed that he knew exactly when to do that and when to be the dime provider having his highest assist average in his career. ‘This club pushed me out of my comfort zone forced me to be a complete PG and defensive player. Just having to adapt to the athletes and speed of this level. My favorite moment was actually connecting on assists. I worked hard on being able to make a pass to my teammates and they catched it in a great spot and finish. So maybe throwing some lobs or finding a wideopen shooter getting the crowd hype is what I will miss’, expressed Christopher Miller. He scored in double figures in every game and score more than 20 points 10 times including 28 points apiece against Bernex and Baeren, 27 points against CNBS and 26 points against Grand-Saconnex.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Chris Miller in Limburg, Germany in 2022

So after a strong and successful season in Switzerland, what is the next step for Christopher Miller. He hasn’t revealed anything, but the German Pro B may not be an option simply because he wasn’t appreciated there. ‘I will enjoy the off season and get to work on my craft. I don’t know what is next that part I can’t control but I can control the fact that I’ll be ready. At this point I played some of my best basketball and didn’t get any respect for it . My goal is to play somewhere that I am appreciated. Whatever decision I make next will be exactly that’, warned Christopher Miller. The 29 year old guard wants to keep moving up the ladder and knows he can’t be a slouch during the off season, but continue to be a gym rat and grind grind in the lab continuing to improve his shooting and passing. ‘This summer with my trainer Ronny Weihmann I will work on those same things. Progressing my three point shooting, ball handling and quickness. I want to be able to be plugged into any situation being the PG or SG and have the same dominant effect’, stressed Christopher Miller. I don’t know how often he thinks about the what if? I mean what if he hadn’t taken part with the Howard Hoops opportunity in Germany? ‘I was hesitant to take this chance with Ron Howard because I did not know him. Something told me to take that chance, and I am happy I did because he is true to his word and he has a brand that is growing all throughout Germany and Europe. He has placed players in big leagues and has a high success rate’, stressed Christopher Miller in 2016. He was one of the lucky players that made a good career overseas, but he also worked his butt off and has deserved every opportunity he has gotten. It will be interesting to see where he will land next season. I know he will get Pro B offers, but maybe he will surprise everyone and suit up in the German Pro A. I will be rooting for him because I always love the underdog.


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