Darius Miller visits Clark County, readies for White House
University of Kentucky basketball standout Darius Miller visits Clark Middle School Thursday morning where he signed the UK t-shirt of Trevor McCarty. Miller also visited Strode Station and Central elementary schools and Conkwright Middle School. Miller, and the rest of UK's eighth National Championship team, will visit the White House and President Barack Obama on Friday and then he will graduate from UK on Sunday. (James Mannemail@example.com / May 3, 2012)
The University of Kentucky senior visited four schools in Clark County with former Wildcat standout Jeff Sheppard, who won a national championship with the school in 1998. The duo began at Strode Station, crossed over to Clark Middle, went across town to Central Elementary and concluded the trek with a visit to Conkwright Middle School. Miller planned on visiting just 13 schools, with four of those in Clark County. Before his arrival at Strode Station, the students chanted “Let’s go Miller” and echoed “Miller” over and over again until he entered the gymnasium with Sheppard and the rest of his guests.
The schedule marked the beginning of a whirlwind weekend for Miller, who will visit the White House with the rest of the team on Friday to commemorate the school’s eighth national championship with Obama. Miller also plans to attend the Kentucky Derby Saturday and will graduate Sunday. While signing basketballs for his next stop, Miller said he “can’t wait” to visit the White House.
“I think it will be a great experience,” he said. “It’s something I’ll be able to tell my kids about. I can’t wait to go there (Friday). I think all three days will be extremely fun. I can’t wait to get this weekend started.”
Despite the busy schedule, Miller has been having fun “interacting with all the fans who have shown me support” and has gotten a glimpse of Big Blue Nation behind the scenes.
“I figured the support would be great because they’ve been doing the whole four years (I’ve been at Kentucky), but some places have surprised me,” he said with a smile. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
During a question-and-answer session with Sheppard, Miller emphasized the importance of getting an education, hard work and his favorite moment at Kentucky.
“All of the guys are having fun with it,” Miller said. “Just to hear their stories and interacting with them ... we’re having fun with it.”
Miller’s most memorable experience came when the final buzzer sounded in the Wildcats’ 67-59 victory over Kansas in the NCAA¿Championship. The four zeroes on the clock ended his collegiate career and signaled a new beginning. Miller still remembers his final game, but is ready for the next stage in lfe.
“Maybe sometimes (I think about it) and the fans still talk to me and are excited about it, but I think we have to move on from that,” he said. “We have to see what’s next for us in life and that’s what we’re trying to do right now. I’m anxious to see what happens. Hopefully everything (works out good) for me and my teammates.”
Miller remains in contact with his teammates “on a day-to-day basis” and is preparing for next month’s NBA¿Draft.
“I’ve been focusing on the draft,” Miller said. “I’ve been working out for a while now and trying to get prepared for all of the workouts and stuff like that. (The draft) has still been my main focus.”