'Why Not Do It At Home?': 2020 Illinois Mr. Basketball Adam Miller Signs With Illini

Matthew Stevens

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- For the 13th time, the Mr. Basketball selection in the state of Illinois has signed with the University of Illinois.

After announcing his verbal commitment in late November, Adam Miller officially signed his National Letter-of-Intent with the Illini Wednesday. The four-star 2020 guard, who was originally born in Peoria but transferred to Chicago Public League power Morgan Park High School, was named with the prestigious honor of Illinois Mr. Basketball last week narrowly beating out Duke signee DJ Steward of Whitney Young.

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Adam Miller (middle) signs his National Letter-of-Intent with Illinois on April 22, 2020 in front of friends and family via a Instagram Live video. 

Miller becomes the first Illinois Mr. Basketball selection to sign with Illinois since Mark Smith did so in 2017 but Smith would transfer to Missouri after his first and only season with the Illini program. Miller becomes just the third selection this decade to sign with Illinois joining Smith and Jereme Richmond in 2010, who signed with Bruce Weber’s Illini program. Miller is the first Mr. Basketball from a Chicago high school to sign with Illinois since Jarrod Gee in 1994.

"I feel like it's the best setup for me," Miller said during his signing ceremony at his home via Instagram Live. "It's my best option. If I'm going to continue to do my dream and make it to the NBA, why not do it at home?"

Miller joins an elite Illini backcourt class as four-star point guard Andre Curbelo already signed months ago during the early period along with three-star California forward Coleman Hawkins.

ILLINI SIGNEES NAMED AS MR. BASKETBALL

2020 - Adam Miller, Morgan Park High School, Chicago

2017 - Mark Smith, Edwardsville High School, Edwardsville

2010 - Jereme Richmond, Waukegan High School, Waukegan

2009 - Brandon Paul, Warren Township High School, Gurnee

2002 - Dee Brown, Proviso East High School, Maywood

1999 - Brian Cook,  Lincoln High School, Lincoln

1998 - Frank Williams, Manual High School, Peoria

1997 - Sergio McClain, Manual High School, Peoria

1994 - Jarrod Gee,  St. Martin de Porres High School, Chicago

 1989 - Deon Thomas, Simeon Vocational High School, Chicago

1987 - Marcus Liberty,  King College Prep High School, Chicago

1986 - Nick Anderson, Simeon Vocational High School, Chicago

1982 - Bruce Douglas,  Quincy Senior High School, Quincy

Miller announced his commitment at the Jordan Store in Chicago in November, he became the seventh player rated with four stars to commit and/or sign with Illinois since Brad Underwood was announced as the Illini’s head coach on March 18, 2017.

“A big key (for me was) they lost a few games early in the (2019-20) season and he changed the playbook, changed the system and showed he is a great coach,” Miller said about Underwood. “That said a lot to me about it being about the players there and not about him.”

Miller, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard visited Illinois several times and had scholarship offers from Arizona, Louisville, Arizona State and Kansas. Miller is from the same Chicago high school program (Morgan Park) and Mac Irvin Fire AAU program as Illini guard Ayo Dosunmu. Miller was teammates with Dosunmu for one season at Morgan Park as the guard duo helped lead the Mustangs to a Class 3A state title in 2018. Miller is rated by 247Sports.com as the 33rd-best player in the country and the second-highest ranked player in the state of Illinois. ESPN.com has Miller rated No. 29 overall in the 2020 recruiting class and the highest ranked Illini signee in the class.

"Adam made a memorable impact on me the very first time I saw him as a sophomore," Underwood said in an official statement. "He did an individual workout right after a team workout at his high school, and I was so impressed by his work ethic and his attention to detail with fundamentals. He went on to win a state championship with Morgan Park that year, dominating on the defensive end in the title game. Adam has only continued to blossom and grow his game from there. He is an elite scorer, a multi-talented two-play player with the ball in his hands, as a shooter with great range and with his defensive prowess. Adam is a winner. He was headed toward another high school state title before the season was cut short, and excelled in USA Basketball settings with his ability to compete and play alongside the nation's top players. Adam is a great student who will also fit well with the tremendous academic setting here at the University of Illinois."

Miller was primarily recruited by assistant coach Ronald “Chin” Coleman, a Chicago native who previously served as head coach of the Mac Irvin Fire, one of the top AAU programs in the country, from 2005-11 before being the associate head coach at Whitney Young High School and serving two years as an assistant coach at Illinois-Chicago under coach Steve McClain. 

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