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Olajuwon passes on tips to high school standout

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by TreeRollins, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. TreeRollins

    TreeRollins Contributing Member

    Nov 7, 2006
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    Aug. 1, 2007, 2:39AM
    Learning from a legend
    Dwight Miller has honed his skills this summer with help from Hakeem Olajuwon. And the tutoring has worked like a dream

    Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

    Dwight Miller stands face to face with his tutor.

    "Drop your hips," Miller is told. "Step across. One motion."

    The voice is strong but soft at the same time. Soaking up the information like a sponge, Miller does as he is told and executes perfectly.

    "Good," the man says while nodding at Miller with approval.

    This is much more than a typical summer workout for a local basketball hopeful. For one, Hakeem Olajuwon is as good a teacher as it gets. And, more importantly, the Dream can only turn a dreamer into a star if the student has the talent and desire to make it happen.

    "I can see how much he has grown," Olajuwon said. "To see how much he has developed as a player and how far he has come, it's unbelievable.

    "I wasn't sure how hard he was willing to go (for it). But I can see the passion he has and he loves to learn."

    Olajuwon might be proud of his latest project, but he's not exaggerating Miller's abilities.

    "He's easily one of the top 10 most improved players in the state of Texas," said Jim Hicks, founder of RCSsports.com, a Web site that covers Houston-area boys basketball. "He has wooed a lot of
    the college coaches with his tenacity and aggressiveness on the block.

    "He's used the summer to his advantage, and he's now one of the top 10 big men in the Greater Houston area."

    Miller impressed college scouts and coaches at the Rbk U camp (formerly known as the ABCD camp) July 7-10 in Philadelphia. He averaged 10 points and seven rebounds per game playing against some of the country's top prospects.

    He won the Donte Anderson Memorial Award, which goes to an unsung player who made the biggest impression at the camp.

    Making a name for himself
    Prior to the camp, Miller, who is from the Bahamas and has played organized basketball less than three years, was barely on the national recruiting radar. He was only invited after participating in a regional tryout camp.

    "As far as being a national prospect, he was under the radar (before the camp)," said Frank Rutherford, a former Olympian who helps young athletes from the Bahamas such as Miller. "Now I'm getting calls from everybody and everybody wants the kid. It's just one of those surreal things."

    It's another summer workout for the 6-8 forward who is about to enter his senior year of high school. Only his mentor is a two-time NBA champion, an MVP award winner and a 12-time All-Star:

    "I'm still getting used to it," said Miller, who will spend his senior season at St. Pius after transferring from Westbury Christian, where he averaged 8.3 points, five rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game last season. "I'm still a little star-struck by him."

    It is a rare opportunity that is afforded Miller.

    The opportunity exists because Olajuwon is a friend of Rutherford, a 1992 Olympic bronze medalist in the triple jump who, like Miller, is Bahamian.

    Miller is another in a long line of young athletes whom Rutherford, a University of Houston graduate, has sponsored to come to the United States from the Bahamas for a chance to succeed in athletics.

    Some of Rutherford's success stories include his nephews, Baltimore Ravens receiver Devard Darling, who starred at Washington State and his late brother Devaughn, who attended Florida State. His foundation also has put out Jeremy Barr, a junior forward at Southern California and Ian Symonette, a redshirt freshman tackle at Miami.

    But this summer, there is no time for Miller to be wowed by his teacher. During a recent workout at Lifetime Fitness in Sugar Land, Olajuwon was imparting his knowledge to Miller.

    Positioning important
    With the same grace he displayed in his 18-year NBA career, Olajuwon schooled Miller from various spots on the court, including the right low block, where Olajuwon scored many a basket during his career.

    Miller intently listened as he tried to emulate Olajuwon. The two have worked out several times a week this summer, and if he masters the skills, it only adds to his potential.

    Some of his Division I offers include UH, Nebraska, Oregon State and Virginia Commonwealth.

    According to Rivals.com, Miller is receiving interest from Connecticut, Cincinnati, Virginia, Illinois, Oregon and Miami and coaches or scouts from all of those schools were present to see him play in the Reebok Summer Championships in Las Vegas on July 22.

    Dream come true
    Miller plays with Houston Elite, an Amateur Athletic Union team coached by Rick Nelson. He has spent the non-scholastic season working on the things Olajuwon has taught him about playing in the post.

    "I really appreciate what (Olajuwon) has done for me," he said. "A lot of people don't get this opportunity.

    "Every day I see him, I go up to him, and the first thing I do is shake his hand and tell him 'Good morning.' It's still hard getting over the fact that I'm working out with someone like him."

    For a kid from the Bahamas, it's the chance of a lifetime.

    "It's just a testament that if you work hard, good things will happen to you," he said. "Every day I just wake up and thank the Lord that he put me in this situation and I try to go out and get better."


  2. CompaqC

    CompaqC Member

    Jun 29, 2000
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    who the heck is dwight miller? :confused:
  3. aussie rocket

    aussie rocket Member

    Apr 3, 2006
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    may be the next Hakeem Olajuwon?
  4. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

    Oct 5, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Hakeem Olajuwon's BIG MAN CAMP

    Has a nice ring to it

    Rocket River
    With his Assistants,. . Moses Malone and Kareem Abdul Jabbar
  5. jev5555

    jev5555 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Oct 8, 2002
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    Dang, Olajuwon still has that quick smooth turnaround. I do miss those days.
  6. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Jul 24, 2007
    Likes Received:
    I'm still amazed that Dream can still move that well at his age. I'm sure if Dream still wanted to he could suit up and give at least 10 minutes of solid playing time in the NBA a game.
  7. Realjad

    Realjad Contributing Member

    Oct 4, 2005
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    Hey that gym is Lifetime Fitness in Katy!! I go there, alot of nba'rs go ther ein the offseason. Moochie is a regular and real nice guy, Vince Young came in alot last offseason aswell~ he isn't as good at basketball as alot of people say he is, also you couldn't even make a swipe to steal the ball cause he would b**** about "hey my hands my hands". Brian Skinner, Mo Taylor and alot of other 3rd tier NBA'rs are regulars there during the offseason and are always willing to jam up some pick-up games.
  8. doublehh03

    doublehh03 Member

    Feb 8, 2007
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    hakeem is THAT dude. he would have dominated every era the same way.

    too bad he doesn't want a full time coaching job w/ us or an executive position. he would find great talent i believe ala jerry west.

    BEXCELANT Member

    Mar 1, 2007
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    Hmm I think he can still play, lets put him in a Uniform and line him up next to Yao. LOL
  10. OrangeRowdy95

    OrangeRowdy95 Contributing Member

    Jul 15, 2007
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    Dwight Miller is at Lifetime Fitness in Sugarland every day working on his game. Calvin Murphy was tutoring him earlier in the Summer, and now Hakeem does. Miller came from the Bahamas and just started playing a few years ago. He's a beast of a player. I played against him a few years back in a competitive game. He has a strong IQ and is a quick learner. Watch out for this kid. He's getting some great coaching in Calvin Murphy, Hakeem, and now Charlie Ward at Westbury Christian.
  11. OrangeRowdy95

    OrangeRowdy95 Contributing Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    I just read the article and it looks like Ward won't be coaching him after all, since he's transferring to Pius.

    The Darling brothers are a great story. Dennis is the oldest, and he was my track coach at one point.

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