Ex-Cats

No rest as former Cat and high school basketball legend keeps working on being his best

New Orleans forward Darius Miller shot over Los Angeles Clippers center Boban Marjanovic in a game earlier this season. Miller, who has played two stints with the New Orleans franchise, had his most successful season in the NBA this year.
New Orleans forward Darius Miller shot over Los Angeles Clippers center Boban Marjanovic in a game earlier this season. Miller, who has played two stints with the New Orleans franchise, had his most successful season in the NBA this year. AP Photo

Darius Miller has just come off his most successful season yet in the NBA and is already working with a Lexington personal trainer on getting better for another go.

Miller, the former Kentucky and Mason County star who won the Boys' Sweet Sixteen with the Royals and an NCAA national championship with the Cats, played in all 82 games for the New Orleans Pelicans this season as a three-point specialist off the bench. His 41.1 three-point percentage ranked in a tie for 26th in the league as he averaged 7.8 points and 23.7 minutes per game.

Miller worked out this week in Seaside, Fla., with Lexington personal trainer Ted Butler of Operation Athlete. Butler put the former Kentucky Mr. Basketball through a series of workouts in the pool, on the deck and in the sand at the beach.

"An amazing START to next NBA Season," Butler said on Twitter with a video highlight of the workouts. "My man gave me so much — going to be AWESOME getting ready for next season ."

Butler said Miller's workout focus has been to improve his quickness, to get lighter on his feet and to become more explosive.

Miller was selected in the second round by New Orleans off Kentucky's 2012 national title, but he struggled for playing time and spent time in the G League before being released in 2014. He then found success in Germany helping lead Brose Bamberg to back-to-back German League titles. He returned to New Orleans for the 2017-18 season where he earned more playing time in one season than his entire previous stint with the franchise.

"Credit goes to New Orleans’ scouting department for identifying that the timing was right for Miller to come back to the NBA and fill a valuable role.," says the Pelicans.com's season review for Miller published Thursday. "He shot over 40 percent from three-point range in the Euroleague, but there was no guarantee that would translate over to the NBA."

While hosting a skills camp in his hometown of Maysville, former University of Kentucky player Darius Miller talked about playing professional basketball in Germany.

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