Tony Miller is but 15 years old, a growing boy. Baby faced, but standing 6’4” tall. A burgeoning talent at the small forward position, careening toward the big time via his exploits on the basketball court.
In the world of prep basketball, Miller is quite possibly the best kept secret in the Pacific Northwest. But word’s starting to get out: He was recently named 1st team All-KingCo. He became the first sophomore in Woodinville history to be named to the team. In fact, he became the first Falcon EVER to be so honored.
“I was kind of surprised to hear that because some pretty good players have come out of Woodinville,” Miller said. “But it was a good feeling after all the hard work I had put in during the off season. Basically a good feeling about how hard work pays off.”
Woodinville coach Mark Folsom was recently asked about Miller.
“Tony is a special kid,” Folsom said. “He is very driven. He has spent more time working on his game (last) off season than anyone in the state. This kid has big goals and not just for himself. The special thing I like about Tony is that he is determined to change the face of this program. He is determined to let people know you don’t come to Woodinville and get easy Ws.”
Woodinville lost a lot of games this past season, going 4-16 overall. But with a couple exceptions, they played every opponent tough.
“We would lose games by 2 or 3 points and I was saying that we needed to push more in the final minutes to win more games,” Miller said. “I did notice a lot of our players were playing hard, and a lot of our young guys got some playing experience.”
For such a smooth ball handler and shooter, this past season proved to be the first time in Miller’s young life that that he had faced double teaming.
“I have played in the AAU, and teams there don’t prepare for certain guys at all,” he said. “And from 5th to 9th grade, you don’t see that kind of thing. But I did see it this year. I noticed that whenever I got double teamed, there was also a helping teammate, so I just needed to find the open guy.”
Miller said the strongest parts of his game right now are ball handling, shooting and his confidence to drive into the paint.
But what is the weak part of his game?
“I would say my post defense needs to get a little better,” he said. “Strength and positioning. Sometimes guys that would post up on me down low would be a bit more sophisticated in how they positioned themselves. It’s something I need to work on to become a better player.”
Miller said he was looking forward to working hard this summer to improve his game. Coach Mark Folsom will certainly be keeping tabs on him and all the Falcon players.
“Mark is a great person, with a great personality and a great sense of humor,” Miller said. “His main goal is to get us to be a pretty good team and get us over .500 and deep into the playoffs. He will go to great lengths to get us there.”