It wasn't an easy thing to do, but Quincy Miller knew that he needed to get away from his North Chicago home. Just before the start of his sophomore year, he made the difficult decision to transfer to Winston Salem (N.C.) Quality Education Academy. Playing back in his home state over the weekend, many who knew Miller early are probably surprised to see just how far the now 6-foot-9 junior has come in a little over a year.
"I just wanted to get away from what was a bad environment," said Miller of his decision to leave. "I just wanted to go somewhere that I could get more exposure and get better. I went to Five Star basketball camp and that's when coach Isaac Pitts picked me up."
A long and rangy forward capable of playing both inside and out, Miller is a skilled scorer. He spins for dunks and finishes with either hand around the basket, shoots with range to the three point line and is an exciting transition finisher. He's grown a few inches in the past year allowing him to develop into a dangerous shot blocker as well.
Last weekend, Miller showed fans in his home state what he can do with impressive performances in Champaign and Marion. Scary thing is that he isn't healthy yet after breaking his wrist in the off season.
"It's about at 90%," said Miller of his wrist. "I've still got to do some more rehab. I don't have full motion yet. I've been working hard and it's coming back."
An outgoing kid with loads of personality, Miller finds himself the target of what is becoming a pretty intense recruiting hunt. Still, despite the likes of Illinois, Duke, Kentucky, Wake Forest, Oklahoma, Baylor and countless other top programs making their pitches, he is in no rush to talk specifics or set a timeline on his recruitment.
"I don't have any time period on that," Miller told Inside Illini of his recruitment. "But, it's probably going to be sometime during my senior year."
For now, Miller is focused on the task at hand. He's in North Carolina to handle his academics (he reported that he's got a GPA of near 3.7 at QEA) and business on the basketball floor.
"I'm homesick sometimes," said Miller. "My family is all in the North Chicago, Waukegan and Illinois area. But I know that I'm down there to do a job."
So far, things look to be going pretty well for Miller. His tough decision looks to be working out for him and he takes some satisfaction in knowing that he's surprised friends and family back home with how far he's come.
"I wasn't good at all," said Miller of where he was before leaving home. "I don't think anybody ever thought I'd come this far with all the rankings and interest from schools."