Coming into his second year playing for the Seattle Pacific University Falcons, forward Tony Miller tops the scoring charts.
Miller has been playing basketball since a young age. Whether it was shooting hoops with his family or playing on a team, Miller always loved the game.
“I’ve been playing organized ball since I was 8 or 9 and I started when I began watching people playing it on [television],” Miller said.
“My parents have always just had a ball in my hands and loved playing on those mini nerf hoops,” he continued.
In high school, Miller played basketball for the Woodinville Falcons.
He was the first player at his school to make varsity as a freshman.
Miller, in 2014, also became the first Woodinville Falcon to make the King County 4A first team.
In 2015 and in 2016 he led the King County league in scoring. In 2015, his junior year, he averaged 23.7 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.
After his graduation in 2016, Miller decided to continue to play for the Falcons, this time not for the Woodinville Falcons, but the Seattle Pacific University Falcons.
“I came because of the rich basketball history here at SPU and how the coaching staff and players welcomed me with open arms,” Miller said.
“I also love how close I am to home, just living about 20 minutes from campus along with my brother Trey also being on the team.”
Tony Miller measures in at six feet six inches with a wingspan of about 82 inches.
Due to his tremendous size and ability to handle the ball, Miller is one of the top scoring threats SPU has inside the paint.
But also, his great experience often makes him a scoring threat almost anywhere on the court.
Last year, Miller had a season high of 34 points on his Nov. 1 debut against Northwest Nazarene.
Coincidentally, he also made his season high of free throws that game, sinking 12.
He topped out at 16 rebounds in a single game on Dec. 29 against Alaska Anchorage.
Miller started off this season in spectacular fashion, coming close to his scoring high last year in the first game of the season, scoring 27 points against Concordia in an exhibition match on Oct. 29.
Miller netted 17 of those points in the first 8 minutes and 19 seconds of the exhibition.
During the exhibition, Miller also grabbed 13 rebounds.
With significant effort in both scoring and crashing the glass, Miller earned his first double-double of the preseason.
“Tony is one guy that can really fill [up the stat sheet], but he also has done a great job moving the ball and getting other guys open shots this far,” guard Gabe Colosimo said.
“Our group so far this season has been great at sharing the ball and we want to continue that moving forward.”
About a week and a half later Miller made another offensive outing, scoring the most on his team with 17 points against Sonoma State University.
Despite the seven point loss, Miller was still able to grab 10 rebounds and 17 points accounting for his second double-double of the preseason.
The very next day, Nov. 11, the Falcons matched up against California State East Bay where Miller tied for second most scores on his team with 12 points.
Miller also accounted for seven rebounds.
“The scoring depth on this team is improved from a season ago, and Tony is a big part of that,” Grant Leep, head coach of the men’s basketball team, said.
Miller’s constant scoring and ball possession is because “it’s what the coaches come up with, as well as what the flow of the game is and feedback from us players,” he said.
It all really depends on the flow of the game and how the other team is defending, no one player is solely responsible for the play of the offense, Leep said.
Miller says his coach is extremely helpful, whether it be day to day practice or during the game, “Leep is a good coach but an even better person. He’s very competitive and wants to get the most out of all of his players.”
Thus far Miller and the Falcons are 1-1 in preseason play and have won their one and only exhibition.
After his seasons with SPU, Miller says he plans on continuing his basketball career by playing overseas for a professional team.
Despite this, he is currently focusing on this season, saying, “At the end of the season I see myself and this team winning the GNAC [Greater Northwest Athletic Conference] championship and
competing for a nationals championship. If I could have a season anything like I had last year that would be cool too.”