When the boys basketball season began, there were questions about who could provide offense and become a leader for the Skyline Eagles. Gone were the top four scorers from the 2010-2011 team that had qualified for the state tournament. And to further complicate matters, the Eagles got a new coach.
Derek Bunting had installed a new offense. After watching his team practice for the first time, Bunting knew he had an answer as to who could lead the team.
“It was pretty clear from day one that DeSean Miller was the guy to run the team,” said Bunting. “He was the best ball handler by far and had a high basketball IQ. It was his team from the first practice on.”
Miller, a 5-foot-9 senior had played sparingly at Skyline after transferring from American Fork. When his coach named him the starting point guard, Miller said he didn’t know what to expect.
“I really just wanted to play and it was great to have coach show that much confidence in me,” said Miller. “As a team we were just hoping to have fun and play together.”
Now that the season is over, it is clear Bunting made the correct decision. Miller led his team in scoring, averaging over 13 points per game, and guided the Eagles to 16 wins, the most wins for the program since 2009.
Miller credits the team’s improvement to the teamwork required to run the Princeton offense.
“Everyone wanted to play together so we let go of some bad memories and worked as a team,” said Miller. “Working together to learn a new offense helped us to grow together, coach was shocked how fast we picked it up.”
Miller’s crowning moment may have come in Skyline’s victory over Sky View in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament. The senior scored 10 points, pulled down four rebounds, passed out five assists and secured three steals.
“Against Sky View, DeSean was virtually flawless,” said Bunting. “Some guys blossom at different times and it just took him until his senior year to bloom. He showed what he is capable of this year and there is absolutely a place for him on a college team.”
Miller is unsure what his basketball future will look like. Before the end of the school year, he will need to choose between playing for one of the several Division II colleges that have expressed interest, or attending a one year post-graduate program in the East.
No matter where he goes, Miller said the Skyline program is in good hands.
“This year was successful for everyone and the players that will be back next year will be that much better with another year in the offense,” said Miller. “This year was the most fun I have ever had playing basketball on any team.”