DeRozan is a Trojan

SCPlaybook was there live when Demar DeRozan and Percy " Romeo" Miller signed their letters of intent to play basketball at USC. Kevin Carden brings you all the news and notes from the press conference.

It was quite the Hollywood scene at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills as Percy "Romeo" Miller and Demar DeRozan signed their letters of intent to play basketball for the USC Trojans. Miller and DeRozan's press conference attracted reporters and film crews from both the sports and entertainment worlds.

Demar DeRozan is a 6-6, 180 lbs. small forward from Compton High School. DeRozan is the top-rated small forward in the 2008 recruiting class, and is ranked as the fifth best overall prospect by Scout.com.

"I really feel he is the next big thing. The next Lebron (James) or the next Kobe (Bryant)," said Percy Miller of his friend and future teammate.

DeRozan was one of the most sought after recruits in the 2008 class and chose USC over Florida State, Arizona, Washington and North Carolina.

"At the beginning I was kind of conflicted but once I looked at it and really looked into it, it was easy," DeRozan said. "USC has a lot of new stuff going on. A new gym, a great coach and building a program. So that was a major part for me picking them."

DeRozan's ultimate goal is to one day play in the NBA and he feels that playing for a coach with NBA experience, like Tim Floyd is the best way to get prepared.

"He (Tim Floyd) coached in the NBA for a couple of years and that's great to have a college coach like that. He can help you get ready for the league," DeRozan said of Tim Floyd.

This summer DeRozan really made a name for himself with an impressive performance at the Lebron James Skills Academy. DeRozan was one of the most consistent performers at the camp and he also got to learn from two of the best players in the world.

"That was a great experience just playing with Kobe (Bryant) and Lebron (James). Working out with them just inspires you to work harder," said DeRozan.

The silky smooth small forward is one of the most explosive athletes on the west coast and is known for playing above the rim, but DeRozan also has a much improved jump shot.

DeRozan has a lot of confidence in his abilities but realizes that he still has a lot of hard work to do before he arrives on the USC campus.

"My strengths are my ability to score, take people off of the dribble, my jumping ability and everything," said DeRozan. "I'm just working on getting everything better so everything will be my strength."

Growing up in nearby Compton, California DeRozan has always been a fan of USC basketball.

"Yeah I have always been a USC fan," DeRozan said. "I know Gabe (Pruitt) and Nick Young and they were always close friends with me and everything. So I always watched USC and everything."

Percy "Romeo" Miller is known worldwide as an actor and rapper but wants everyone to know that basketball is his first love.

The 5-10 point guard from Beverly Hills High School knows that he is a role model to the younger generation and wants to stress the importance of getting a college education.

"One of the main reasons I chose USC was just the whole education thing. I felt like I could teach that to the kids," said Miller. "I didn't really have to go to college. I made a lot of money for me and my family but I am one of those people that always preach education because I feel knowledge is wealthier than money."

"That's why I'm going to college, to experience that college life. It only comes once and I just want to show the kids out there that if they work hard they should go try and do the same thing. Go get your college education and live the dorm life. It only comes once," Miller added.

Miller was also interested in playing basketball at Florida State and Arizona but said once he visited USC's film school he knew he wanted to be a Trojan.

"When I saw the film school that put it over the top," Miller explained. "I am going to go to the film school. You have seen a lot of people like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Singleton. I am going to try and do the best of both worlds. Play ball and then you might see me as a great director one day," said Percy Miller.

Miller feels he has a lot to prove because people see him as an actor and doubt his basketball skills but he remains unfazed by the criticism.

"I'm just happy and grateful for my situation that I am in. I just feel real blessed and I am ready to get to USC and play ball," Miller said.

Miller and DeRozan are best friends and are excited about the opportunity to combine their talents at USC.

"We are two different people from two different places but we love doing the same thing and that's playing basketball," Percy Miller said.

"That's great because a lot of people don't get the opportunity to do that, especially to go to college and play together. You can't ask for anything better than that," said DeRozan.


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