For the fourth year Mike Miller and his cousin Ernie Kuyper have put together an impressive schedule for the Miller Classic. The two day event showcases South Dakota's top prep teams against the nation’s best. We caught up with miller last night to talk about his classic.
Since 2010 the Corn Palace has filled up the weekend after Christmas for the Mike Miller Classic and this year will be no different. South Dakota has a lot of quality basketball classics, but this one is different. Miller doesn't just bring in the top teams from the Rushmore state, but the country as well.
"The whole reason we started this thing was to give South Dakota kids an opportunity to play against the best talent in the world and for South Dakota fans to see their team against some of the best talent in the world. We also want that talent to come to a place that we are pationate about basketball and we have done that. I think you will keep seeing the same thing, but getting better every year," founder Mike Miller said.
Basketball in South Dakota gets better every year and matchups against teams from North Carolina, Florida, Minnesota, and Indiana have something to do with it. Miller won two state titles for Mitchell before going on to play at the University of Florida. Now in the NBA, he believes his home state can hang with anyone on the hardwood.
"Oh yeah, and they have proven it. I think we proved it when I played for Mitchell, we won a lot of tournaments, and these kids are proving it now. Its competitive basketball, they're winning games, and it's a lot of fun for them. It's a great opportunity for them," Miller said.
Washington, O'Gorman, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Mitchell will represent South Dakota this weekend. Miller won back to back titles with the Heat and he sounds a lot like LeBron counting future rings when it comes to talking about future classics in his home town.
"We are proud to be in our fourth year, but we cant wait until five, six, seven, eight, and nine either. I think what you will see on the floor this year will be better than what we had last year and for years to come," Miller said.
Findlay Prep will take the court Saturday night. They currently have four players in the NBA including last year’s top pick. Skyforce point guard Deandre Liggins also played for them.