Sioux Falls, SD
Fresh off of his second consecutive NBA title Mitchell native Mike Miller has returned to his home state. The Heat guard was back to host his annual Night of Hope fundraiser for Sanford's Children Hospital.
"What they have done is truly amazing, it really is," Miller said.
Miller has been helping Sanford raise money for years with no reason to other than it was the right thing to do. That theory changed two years ago.
"Unbelievable, it was even better to have her at the hospital today because when we made that donation and that pledge, my wife and I, we had two healthy kids. You fast forward five or six years and your daughter is going through the same things that your donation helps with other families. You see how stressful it is as a parent," Miller said.
His daughter Jaelyn, now two, was born with holes in heart and had to be treated at the Sanford Castle. She missed his first title game while in the hospital, but was in attendance when dad hoisted his second title.
"To have her and the health she's at now, it trumps everything I've ever done. To have her at the hospital, to have her at the NBA Finals, and just knowing that I have three healthy kids that's all that matters," Miller said.
Another father and multiple NBA champion was on hand as well for the event. Heat forward Udonis Haslem made the trip from South Beach to South Dakota to help a friend and fellow Florida Gator out.
"You know Mike is a father, I'm a father, and we have blessed along the way. There have been people that have impacted our lives and helped us get to this point. To have the opportunity to impact other people's lives, that is a blessing that has been bestowed upon us. He takes full advantage of giving back. He has a great heart and I'm just glad to be back here as a part of it," Haslem said.
Miller, Haslem, and several MMA fighters raised money with a silent auction and a friendly game of poker. Skinny is also excited to announce his energy drink Let It Fly will hit the shelves in South Dakota later this year.