When Harlem senior Ajay Miller signed with Truett-McConnell College on April 20, history was made in the Bulldog program.
Boys basketball coach Kim Chambers said Miller was the first Harlem boys basketball player to sign at the collegiate level in more than 10 years.
"We've had several other players that were college material, but they played football," Chambers said. "Ajay's come a long way."
For Miller, the road to a college education came almost by accident. During a Jan. 24 basketball game against Glenn Hills, college scouts showed up to see the talent Glenn Hills had to offer. Instead, they saw Ajay Miller.
"I didn't know anybody was there," Miller said. "I played the best defense I've ever played in that game."
He also put on an offensive display worthy of college attention. Miller turned in 27 points, including a game-winning buzzer-beater to defeat Glenn Hills 72-71. After the game, it didn't take long for word about Miller to spread.
"A coach from UNC-Charlotte who was at that game called me and told me about him," Truett-McConnell coach Evans Davis said. "That was the first time I had heard about him. I spoke to Ajay on the phone, and I liked what I heard."
Davis said he also liked what he saw when he met Miller during a campus visit to Truett-McConnell in Cleveland, Ga. earlier this year. Davis, in his first recruiting year as head coach of the boy's basketball team, was hoping to build a brand new squad.
"I found 6'3", 210," Davis said. "He's got talent, size and thirst. In our conference that can do some damage."
Truett-McConnell is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Davis took the head coaching position in summer of 2005 and has spent the offseason building his own team.
Miller was the first player Davis signed this year.
The senior is coming off his final high school season where he shot 62 percent from the field.
"It wasn't easy for him. It took a lot of hard work," Chambers said. "It just goes to show that anyone determined enough can achieve those goals."
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