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Womens Basketball: Marwan Miller, Ohios favorite assistant, returns

Time:2017-02-14 12:43Shoes websites Click:

Womens Favorite basketball Miller returns

“That was probably one of the harder days since I’ve been here,” Miller said.

To the five players from the Columbus area, he was saying goodbye to players he had known since their teenage years. To Jasmine Weatherspoon, particularly, he was saying goodbye to the player who calls herself his “agent.”

Miller had known Weatherspoon the longest. They fed off each other’s playful personalities, and Weatherspoon called the pairing a match made in heaven.

After more than seven years of working together, picking on one another through each step of their careers, Weatherspoon and Miller were being separated.

“Once he said it — people were still talking afterwards, but I didn’t really hear what they were saying,” Weatherspoon said. “I couldn’t look Marwan in the eye.”

Coaching upbringing

Miller’s coaching career began from the bleachers.

His younger sister played junior varsity basketball, and had a coach who Miller described as a science teacher who collected a check and never said anything. Frustrated with the lack of coaching interest, Miller took it upon himself to give his sister suggestions throughout the game from the stands.

Eventually, Miller’s tips made enough sense to the varsity coach to earn him an assistant varsity coaching job. From there, he began coaching the Ohio Glory Basketball Club in the Amateur Athletic Union circuit in 2004, where he coached for nine years.

After a few years, Miller’s colleagues told him they thought his basketball knowledge and ability to connect well with young people were good enough to coach in college. Miller said he interviewed with seven or eight colleges over the course of two years, but all of them turned him away.

He became discouraged and frustrated with repeated rejections. Then in 2013, first-year Ohio coach Bob Boldon offered him a position as the Ohio director of basketball operations.

“I cried,” Miller said. “I just started running around my apartment screaming like crazy.”

The bonds

The college basketball season spans five months. That’s five months of stressful game planning and long road trips.

When Boldon was assembling his staff at Ohio, he said he was looking for good people — people who could raise the morale of those around them. In Miller, he found the positive energy he was looking for.

Miller is the energy that keeps the Bobcats loose. His ability to relate to the players one-on-one is widely praised, but it’s his joking nature with each member of the team that allows him to have that relationship.

“Since we have that good relationship, I can say (a criticism) and they know it’s honest,” Miller said. “I’m gonna give you the real.”

With Hannah Boesinger, it’s telling other Bobcats to "watch out" for Boesinger the day after she engages in one of her famous in-game scrums. With Weatherspoon, he pokes fun at the braids she used to wear when Miller first met her, and Weatherspoon makes sure the server at each restaurant pronounces Miller’s first name “Marwin” instead of “Marwan.”

With Boldon, it’s Cavaliers-Warriors. Miller lived in Oakland, California, as a child, and Boldon is from Louisville, just an hour outside of Cleveland.

When Miller wants to jolt Boldon out of a funk, he’ll go straight for the NBA Finals rivalry. At the moment, Boldon has the upper hand.

“It’s terrific right now because the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead,” Boldon said.

The Cavs-Warriors riff is a microcosm of how close the two coaches have become. From Miller’s perspective, he is forever indebted to Boldon. What started as the opportunity of a lifetime has become an unbreakable bond.

“We can be 70-, 80-year old men,” Miller said. “He calls and says he needs help walking down the steps and I’ll come help him walk down the steps.”

The return

During this past offseason, Weatherspoon began to hear rumors of Miller leaving St. Francis. She called and asked him about it, but Miller said he couldn’t return to Ohio.

But one day during practice, a familiar face walked into The Convo dawning a shirt with a familiar logo on it. Miller was back as an assistant coach.

“I just passed out,” Weatherspoon said. “I just fainted on the ground.”

Of course, the players won't let him off easily. Quiera Lampkins still jokingly calls him a traitor.

With Miller’s return, Lampkins said the family is back together. Everybody is where they are supposed to be.

But now the shoe is on the other foot. The class of seniors who were so devastated when he left two years ago will be leaving him in fewer than three months, and don’t think they won’t milk it.

“He’s probably gonna cry when I leave,” Weatherspoon said. “Make sure you put that in there.” 

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