The last year has been an exciting one for Quincy Miller. First, he made the tough decision to leave his home on the north side of Chicago and head to Winston-Salem, N.C.'s Quality Education Academy at the start of his sophomore year. Once there, the 6-foot-8 forward blossomed into one of the top players in the class of 2011 and now he's looking to make that reputation stick.
After opening eyes last winter, strong performances during the summer with his D-One Sports club program only enhanced Miller's reputation. While he has always believed in his ability, he has been a bit surprised by the attention.
"It's been a real big surprise. I knew I was working hard, but I didn't expect to be able to do all of this and get all of this attention," said Miller. "I didn't know that people took basketball so seriously. Everybody started knowing me and wanting to know what's up with me. I didn't know it was going to be like that."
A versatile player who has the quickness and athleticism to score around the rim, Miller also has a feathery touch on his jumper and improved ball skills making him comfortable on the perimeter. That ability has made him one of the highest ranked prospects in his class and with those rankings come some notoriety and a target.
Make no mistake, he likes being targeted.
"I'd rather have the pressure of being highly regarded than not have it," said Miller. "People expect me to do good and I've got a target on my back. I like that. I used to be the one going at people and now people are coming at me. It' makes me go harder."
"Now I'm focused. I want it more. Wherever I'm at isn't good enough for me. I want to be number one and I won't stop until I'm number one."
Still a bit on the slender side, Miller is also recovering from a wrist injury that required surgery. Sitting on the sidelines has driven him crazy, but he's glad to be back on the floor and working on his game.
"Shooting and slashing to the basket and passing are my strengths," Miller told Kentucky Sports Report. "I'm focusing on my strength, my quickness and my vertical jump the more physical parts. Of course I know I need to get in the gym."
Spend some time speaking with him about what motivates him and Miller says over and over again that he wants to do well by his family and make it. Ask him what making it means and he tells you that it means getting to a good school and then maybe being able to play professionally. He's confident he can get to the NBA, but is also careful not to look for too much too soon.
Miller is also very careful when discussing schools. Rather than speak specifically about any programs -- Kentucky, Duke, Wake Forest, Illinois, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Florida and many others are involved -- he politely declines by saying that he's in no rush and doesn't want to make any program feel like they've been left out.
"I don't have any time limit on making a decision or when I want to get things done," said Miller of his recruitment. "It's about how comfortable I am, mostly how comfortable I am with the school and coaches. I like to run, but I can play any system I think."
Relaxed and confident, Miller looks back over the last year and can't help but feel some satisfaction. It wasn't easy to leave his family and friends to travel halfway across the country. But, it's worked out and he wants to make sure that doesn't change.
"It's been the best move of my life. I've become a better person, I was getting into trouble at home so it was a real good move," finishes Miller. "It was hard because all of my family members are in Illinois. Every single one of them is in Illinois."
"I'm doing this for my family. I just want to be good, I want to be the best. I'm just going to keep working hard to be the best for them and me."