ROCKTON, Ill. — It didn’t take long for Max Miller to find out he had found a new home for the next four years.
Miller, the 6-foot-7 Hononegah center, signed his letter of intent to continue his basketball career at NCAA Division II Cedarville (Ohio) University.
“Cedarville is just a different place,” Miller said. “It’s got the kind of small, Christian atmosphere that I want. When I visited them I spent several hours with the guys and they were great to me. I felt really comfortable right away.”
Miller, who was on the Indians roster briefly as a freshman before starting in his sophomore and junior seasons, says he’s looking forward to the challenge of top competition.
“I’m looking forward to spreading my wings a little bit,” Miller said. “I’m going to continue to mature and become a different player. I’m going to go out there and do the best I can, because the team is already really talented and we’ve got a really good recruiting class coming in.”
Miller improved steadily last season for the Indians and saved his best for last as he put up 29 points, 20 rebounds and seven blocks against Rockford Lutheran in an IHSA Class 4A regional semifinal and followed that up with a solid 14-point effort against Auburn in the regional finals.
Hononegah coach Mike Miller said his progress was evident.
“His basketball savvy has gotten a lot better,” coach Miller said. “His skill level has gotten so much better. He was somebody that early on was just kind of feeling his way. He’d never really been a scorer and everyone talked about his defense and rebounding. Then he turned into a guy that can get 29 points in a game. You see that kind of production now, and I think he’s got parts of his game that people haven’t seen yet. I think he’s on the verge of having a monster year.”
Coach Miller believes his senior center found a perfect fit in Cedarville.
“I think this is great fit for him, not only basketball-wise, but personally too,” coach Miller said. “He’s a kid that is long and athletic and some of the things that he does do well are going to translate right away, and the things he doesn’t do as well right now he’s just going to get better and better at. I think Cedarville is going to get a really good player in a couple of years. Max could’ve waited it out because there were going to be a lot of schools that would be around. But he just came home from his visit and felt comfortable, so it was the right situation for him right away.”
Before he begins his collegiate career, Max is intent on having a productive senior campaign. The Indians return nearly everyone from last season and expect to compete for a NIC-10 title.
“I’m so excited for this season to start,” Max said. “We have eight or nine guys that can really put the ball in the basket this year. We are looking forward to coming out and not only making a statement in our Thanksgiving tournament, but also in our first conference game against Boylan. We want to come out and say this is who we are, and how we play that game is going to tell not only us, but everyone else in the conference what we are capable of doing.”
The Indians open up play at Monday at 6 p.m. against McHenry at Prairie Ridge High School.