Speaking to ESPN Monday, Papa Miller, the top international basketball player, has made a commitment to Florida.
“I could see a real family in Florida,” Miller said. “I saw a very close relationship between everyone. That was a big part of my decision.”
The 18-year-old striker from Spain, who is 6-foot-11, is one of the best international prospects to commit to the college route in the 2022 class. He chose Florida State over Gonzaga, where he visited both schools last week with his father.
“The style of play is consistent with my abilities and the freedom they have given their players to play in any position,” Miller said. “I love the culture in Florida. Once I got there, I was able to see the brotherhood they have in the team. They have strong relationships between the players and the coaches. I loved the good feelings that were in the team.”
Miller, whose maternal grandparents are from the United Kingdom, grew up on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca but spent his formative years playing for the powerful Real Madrid side in Europe, since he was 12 years old. Last summer, he won the prestigious adidas Next Generation Championship with Real Madrid, which can be considered the best youth program on the continent, then helped the Spanish under-18 team achieve an undefeated record in FIBA competitions, and finished second as the best scorer. Averaged 11.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 21 minutes, he shoots 64% from a 2-point range and 50% for 3.
Miller has spent most of this season with Real Madrid’s B-team in the EBA League, averaging 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 24 minutes while shooting 69% from a 2 point range and 35% for 3. December until his Euroleague debut at the age of 17 in a match against CSKA Moscow due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“There was a moment in my career where I wanted to stay in Europe, but recently 100 per cent decided to go to the US to get better, especially physically and technically,” Miller said. “Europe is a place for competition, not for development. In the US, if you don’t play, you will develop in practice and individual sessions. And that’s something you don’t usually do in Europe. It wasn’t a very difficult decision for me.”
Miller grew up as a goalkeeper, standing 6-2 when he was 14 before hitting a late growth spurt that pushed him to 6-11, but he kept his peripheral skills. His size, combined with his 7-foot-2 wingspan, excellent 204-pound frame and incredible ability to handle, pass and shoot from outside give him superb versatility on both ends of the ground with a great potential to grow into his body as he continues to fill in.
Miller joins a Florida State team undergoing a major transition, losing six scholarship players from last season’s team, including the freshmen in the NBA draft. John Butler, the probability of choosing the second round. The Seminoles retained the top two scorers, goalkeeper Caleb Mills and the wing Matthew Clevelandof a team that finished 10-10 in the ACC and 17-14 overall, missed the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2016.
In addition to Miller, the Seminoles also bring in two big, talented men into the four-star category Cameron Corn And the Dant Green As part of the enlistment class 2022, as well as four-star goalkeeper Chandler Jackson. archery suite Darren Green Comes through the NCAA transfer portal from UCF, along with a twice-yearly Ivy League defensive player Jilan JennyCenter from Brown.
Miller will represent Spain again at the European Under-18 Championships in Izmir, Turkey, in late July and early August, joining Florida State in the finale of the tournament.
“Representing Spain last year was a great experience. We had a great coaching staff and great teammates. I had a great time playing for my country and winning the tournament last year.”
Jonathan Jevoni is an NBA draft expert and founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a proprietary exploratory and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA, and international teams.