Five-star prospect and Nashville native Brandon Miller was born a naturally gifted athlete and grew up excelling in baseball, football, and basketball leading up to high school. As his physical profile started to develop along with his athletic gifts, Miller quickly started to make a name for himself at a national scale after strong performances on the EYBL circuit. At 6’8” and 200 pounds, Miller does a good job maximizing his talents at the forward position. His versatility, scoring ability, defensive impact, and on-ball skill-set helped lead Cane Ridge High School to a run at the state tournament this past season. This summer, Miller is eager to pick up where he left off pre-COVID and show coaches how hard he’s been working to improve his game.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Miller discusses his short and long term goals, dealing with the attention of being a top-ranked prospect, the benefits of playing with Brad Beal Elite, his recruitment update, some of his off-court interests, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Brandon Miller, from Nashville, Tennessee:
Pro Insight: Talk a bit about your background.
Brandon Miller: I grew up with two siblings, a brother and a sister. Both parents I grew up around. I grew up playing three sports: baseball, football, and basketball. Just really had a regular life I would say. I was outside playing, riding bikes and stuff you do outside. I may cut the grass, nothing too crazy [laughs]. I’m from Nashville, Tennessee. My dad is from Detroit, Michigan, and my mom is from Nashville, Tennessee.
PI: Any other athletes in your family?
BM: Yeah, my mom ran track in high school and my dad played football at the University of Alabama. My brother played overseas basketball in Hungary and then you have me still in high school.
PI: What are your current measurements?
BM: Wingspan I don’t know at the moment, but I would say 6’8” and 200 pounds. I’m pretty muscular [flexing arms], just a little bit...I’m getting there [laughs].
PI: Where do you get your height from?
BM: My mom is 5’10” and my dad is 6’4”, but I would say my mom because that’s pretty tall for a girl. I’m pretty sure I have some other tall family members, but I don’t know of them right now.
PI: Does your brother have the same build as you?
BM: Yeah I would say the same build — he’s like 6’6”, but he’s way stronger than me because he has more experience. He’s like 6’6” to 6’7”.
PI: You were a three-sport athlete growing up, right? What led to you choosing basketball?
BM: After my freshman year, I played baseball and football and I was like, “nah this isn’t how it was when I was younger, I gotta pick one” so I went based off of that and based off my body — gotta keep the body healthy.
PI: What made you fall in love with basketball?
BM: I don’t think there was a time where I flipped a switch. I think it just happened my first year on the [AAU] circuit. I knew I had to take it seriously.
PI: What made you feel like you should be taking basketball seriously?
BM: Well I always knew that there are kids out there working hard to get better everyday, so it led me to work harder every day to get better and take basketball seriously.
PI: For those that aren’t super familiar with your game — what are your greatest strengths on the court?
BM: Definitely mid-range [shooting] — basically can do it all: score at all three levels, play defense and rebound.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most?
BM: Really just muscle mass. Just need to get a little toned instead of just all skinny. That’s the only big thing.
PI: Are you weight training right now?
BM: I have a trainer, but right now I don’t really lift as much as I do during the off-season. It’s a little bit of push-ups and sit-ups, I might go to the gym, but it’s a little rare. Off-season for sure I’ll lift.
PI: What are some underrated parts of your game you feel you don’t get enough credit for?
BM: That I play defense. You don’t really see athletes sit down and play both sides of the ball, but I feel like I’m one of those that does that.
PI: Who has been the toughest individual matchup you’ve ever faced?
PI: Do you model your game after anyone in particular?
BM: Paul George and Brad Beal. Well I don’t model my game, I just steal some of their moves [laughs]. I steal Brad’s step-back, Paul George’s crossovers, stuff like that. I just steal their moves.
PI: How would you describe the basketball culture in Nashville?
BM: It’s good. We have a lot of players that are in the league now: Darius Garland, Robert Covington, Jordan Bone. There’s some more that I can’t think of right now, but yeah they all work out with the same trainer and I work out with them, too. So it’s pretty good out here.
PI: When did you start training with some of those guys?
BM: So last year we didn’t have an AAU season, so Nashville came together and made a pro run. There were a lot of NBA guys who were there and I wound up playing against them and building a bond with them.
PI: What has that done for your confidence?
BM: It definitely builds my confidence and lets me know that they’re one phone call away from answering any kind of question or giving me advice.
PI: What’s your training schedule/regimen like?
BM: Well now that it’s off-season, I usually train two to three hours every day. But during AAU season I usually train Monday-through-Wednesday and leave Thursday to practice with the team and leave Friday for a tournament. So it’s pretty busy.
PI: Describe this past season.
BM: It was definitely a good season — it was my first time out of regionals. To make it to state was a good opportunity to see what we’re in for next year.
PI: Your team is losing some upperclassman — are you ready to be the top dog next season?
BM: For sure. I think I’m ready. I still have time to get better, but I’m ready.
PI: Will you be running with Brad Beal Elite again this summer? What has your experience been like with them?
BM: Yes, we actually have a tournament this weekend. The year before last was a great experience — first year on the circuit. It showed me that I’m not the only kid out here that’s actually good and can do what I do. So it’s definitely leading me down the right path.
PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player and as a person?
BM: I want to win a state championship, that would be nice to bring back a gold ball. This past year was Cane Ridge High School’s first time in like 13 or 14 years since they went to the state championship. It felt good, for sure.
PI: How about long term?
BM: Long term goal would be to make a career in the NBA.
PI: What are some things you bring to a team off the court?
BM: Probably laughter [laughs]. I would call myself a funny guy.
PI: When did you start to get noticed on a national scale?
BM: I really think it was my first EYBL circuit, which was two summers ago now. Definitely two summers ago is when I got noticed.
PI: How have you dealt with all of the attention?
BM: It’s definitely different. Sometimes it’s just hard not to walk around and get noticed. But something I’ve gotta deal with for the next level. NBA players get noticed everyday when they walk around, so it’s something I’ve got to get used to.
PI: Do you enjoy the attention?
BM: I definitely enjoy it. I like to interact with people and see new faces, so I definitely enjoy it.
PI: What’s the latest with your recruitment?
BM: The latest offer I received was Illinois and that was last month. Coach Coleman reached out to me and let me know that they’ll be recruiting me hard. The offers list is on my phone so I can’t remember all of them, but a few schools are Arkansas, Illinois, Alabama, St. Louis, Tennessee State, etc.
PI: Is Kentucky showing interest?
BM: I have interest from them. I hear from them about once per week. North Carolina is after me, I hear from them every Thursday. They have something called “Tar Heel Thursday” and they text me that every Thursday.
PI: What was it like getting your first offer? Did it boost your confidence?
BM: It definitely boosted my confidence. It boosted my confidence to keep working and get better every day.
PI: How unique/different was the recruiting process with COVID?
BM: I would say it’s challenging. Zoom visits are different from the actual visits because you can’t see the facilities or meet the coaches in person. It was challenging and is something to get used to.
PI: With COVID essentially wiping out AAU in 2020, what are you eager to show coaches this summer?
BM: I want to show them that I’m better than the last year or the last time they saw me.
PI: Did you have a dream school growing up?
BM: No, I wasn’t really that kind of kid.
PI: Do you watch NBA or college more?
BM: It’s weird, I don’t really watch the NBA. I only really watch it when it’s in the finals, so I just pick a team who I think is going to win. I’d watch college before I’d watch the NBA. Same thing with football, I would watch college football before I’d watch NFL.
PI: Why college sports over pro sports?
BM: I just think it’s more intense. Sometimes I feel like in the pros it looks like they’re not trying. In college you have some players that are actually trying to get somewhere and in the pros some guys are like “oh, we already there” so they just don’t even try.
PI: What are you ultimately looking for in a school of choice?
BM: Really just how I fit in at the school. Good bond with the coaches. How I fit with the basketball program itself.
PI: What kind of system do you feel best fits your strengths as a player?
BM: A system that runs. I like to get out and run and get fastbreak points. I feel like that’s the best way to go.
PI: Have you had any good posters in your career so far?
BM: I had one my first year in Peach Jam. I think that’s when I really blew up. That one, and I played against Emoni [Bates] and had a put-back on somebody and that’s what really set it off. Those are the only two, I haven’t had anything crazy in school ball.
PI: What are your thoughts on the seemingly endless list of players in the transfer portal? Does that play into your process at all as you make your final decision?
BM: It doesn’t really play into my decision, but I think it’s interesting. I try not to pay too much attention to it, but for some reason it always comes up. I don’t really know too much about it so I don’t really pay attention to it.
PI: How would you define the word ‘success?’
BM: I would say in a basketball way, always getting better and going to the next level.
PI: What do you personally feel you’ll need to accomplish in your career in order for you to become satisfied?
BM: Just making it to the league first and when I’m there, building a career.
PI: What would you say is the smartest purchase you’ve ever made?
BM: A phone because I feel like everybody needs a phone. You use your phone for everything.
PI: Do you have a favorite book?
BM: No [shakes head], I don’t really read books like that unless I have to, but an author would be Dr. Seuss. Green Eggs and Ham was one I used to read a lot back when I was younger.
PI: Are you watching any shows or movies right now?
BM: I just started Last Chance U about basketball. All-American, I finished that last year. After Last Chance U I think I’ll be done until something else comes out.
PI: What are some of your impressions from Last Chance U?
BM: Something I’ve definitely learned from the show is probably to put school first. Get everything done now so you don’t have to worry about it later.
PI: Talk about your most embarrassing moment.
BM: I haven’t been crossed and I haven’t been dunked on. Actually I got dunked on, but it doesn't count. I blocked it and he just happened to catch it in mid-air — tall people you know, when you’re 7’0” you can do that — but if it was someone my height it wouldn’t have happened. It was by Chet [Holmgren] at the Elite 100, but I don’t think that was embarrassing, I think that was just basketball.
PI: Talk about your favorite all-time memory on the basketball court.
BM: Probably the dunk I had when I caught my own put-back. There was a lotta people there, Jayson Tatum was there. That was a big moment, Jayson Tatum saw that and he was outta his seat.
PI: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
BM: Basketball players wearing ankle socks. Don’t wear ankle socks, no, no [shakes head], it just doesn’t look good. I can’t wear ankle socks. I have a tan from wearing too many long socks.
PI: Do you have any regrets?
BM: Nah, no regrets.
PI: With both of your parents and older siblings being high-level athletes, themselves, what have they instilled in you over the years?
BM: I can say one thing they’ve taught me is to be prepared for anything because anything can happen and you won’t know until it happens. They give great advice. They push me to be the best that I can be.
PI: Who would you say has been the biggest influence on your life up to this point?
BM: My mom and dad for sure…well, the whole family. Without them I wouldn’t be here.
PI: What makes them such a big influence?
BM: My parents sacrificed their time and money. My brother, really just his time, he works out with me sometimes. He’s my weight trainer, I lift with him in the off-season. Just time, really.
PI: Would you say you rely more on your natural talent and ability or on your work ethic?
BM: My work ethic, because if you ain’t putting in the work you ain’t getting no better.
PI: Who’s someone you really look up to?
BM: I would say Brad [Beal]. Not just because I play on his team, but he’s I would say “different.” He’s not just the owner of the team, he has a good personality. He’s always there to give advice leading me down the right path instead of the wrong path.
PI: What advice has he shared with you that stuck out?
BM: On the court, that I have to play with a high motor. Can’t start late in a game, it has to be from the jump.
PI: Talk about a time or story in your life that you feel has really shaped who you are today.
BM: I would say when my grandmother passed. When she passed we had practice that day and I went to practice. I don’t think you see players do that, but I went to practice knowing I had to get better. I feel like that was one of those days.
PI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
BM: It’d have to be “prepare for anything at any time” from my parents because it’s true. You’ve gotta be prepared for anything at any time — anything can happen.
PI: How have you handled and responded to adversity in your life?
BM: There was a game that me and my team had to face adversity. It was the second game in state against Collierville High School. We went in the half down by 20-plus points, I had three fouls. I just told my team, “we just gotta stay locked in and keep playing.” That’s what we did and we came back and won by like seven [points].
PI: If you woke up tomorrow to see a fortune in your bank account, what would be your first purchase?
BM: Hellcat. Hellcat Redeye [Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye]. It’s just a dream car, I have to get it [smiles]. It’s between the Charger or the Challenger, but I prefer the Challenger Hellcat Redeye.
PI: What are you most passionate about outside of the game of basketball?
BM: That’s a hard one, could I say math? I feel like I’m great at math. Like writing-down-stuff math, not just in-my-head math.
PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career as a professional hooper, what do you think you would choose to do?
BM: Probably something along the lines of making my clothing line because I like clothes and all kinds of gear. Can’t go wrong with gear.
PI: So you design clothes?
BM: Yes. Me and my dad, we have our own shirts now. The meaning behind it is “Just Be,” like just be yourself, just be great, or whatever you want to make it. It has a big B on the back with an orange logo.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
BM: Caring. Hard-working. Quiet. Loving.
PI: If someone were to write a book or a movie about your life, what would be the title?
BM: Hmm it can’t be Brandon Miller’s Story, you’ve got to make it…hmmm, it could be Brandon Miller’s Story or B-Miller’s Story. Or Life of B-Miller [nods head], got that one. I think I would put that one down, Life of B-Miller.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
BM: To be like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or Magic type of level. Not just “ah he played in the league back then.” I want to be that guy.
Watch the full interview with Brandon, here