Jan. 21, 2013
Torero Spotlight on Cameron Miles - by Michelle Human
Cameron Miles' road to a successful college basketball career began with backyard pick-up games with his parents and siblings, a family tradition since the day he learned to walk. Now almost two decades later, the second semester senior is finishing his ethnic studies degree in preparation to walk down the aisle and accept his well-earned diploma; though there is one thing standing in between him and graduation--the desire to make his last year playing college ball one for the record books.
"It's that feeling you get when you sit back and think to yourself `man this is my last year' that makes you want to let go and give everything you have," Miles said. "Being a senior there is a lot more urgency to accomplish my goals, and I'm trying to drill that urgency and desire into my teammates as well. Post-season basketball, and then graduation--that's all I want."
The senior guard is off to a good start, assisting the Toreros in winning their first four out of five West Coast Conference games (4-1 WCC), and a 11-9 overall mark. To his coaches, teammates, and peers, Miles defines the strong but humble type who takes charge through his presence on the court. The standout athlete has appeared in each of the 20 games so far this season, scoring 106 points overall and notably securing the win in the January 10th matchup against San Francisco with his 13 points all coming in the second half.
"I think our team is on the right track so far," he said. "Obviously we will have to step it up because things always get harder as the season goes on, but I feel confident about this year."
Miles' confidence is the product of the trust he shares with his teammates. He claims that his team's strongest weapon is the players' ability to work with one another, and that the friendships he has formed with his teammates over the past couple of years is a big attribute to their success on the court.
"We're a quick team and we know how to fight," he said, "but what really makes us stand out from our competition is our chemistry with one another. In the four years that I've been here this is the closest team I've been on. We're basically brothers and most importantly we play hard for each other, which is definitely something our opponents should fear."
Speaking of the brotherly dynamic the Torero teammates have, Miles has a brother of his own to look up to when it comes to shooting hoops. His older brother, CJ Miles, was drafted into the NBA straight out of high school when the Utah Jazz selected him as the 34th overall pick in 2005. The Torero says that even though his brother, who now plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, travels a lot and has earned a lot of publicity, their relationship has hardly changed.
"We still hang out all the time and crack jokes," Miles said. "Even our crazy backyard basketball games are still the same."
Outside of basketball, Miles enjoys writing and spending time with his teammates and family. His most memorable experience at USD so far was during a road trip to Canada with the basketball team, where the men teamed up and took out their anger from tough practices and conditioning on their coaches in a game of paintball.
The avid athlete could not imagine what his life would have been like without basketball. After graduation, he hopes to follow in his brothers footsteps and extend his athletic career for as long as he can.
"If I got the opportunity, I would love to play basketball whether it's in the NBA or overseas--it's something I've been doing my whole life and I don't even know how to explain how much I look forward to coming out and playing every day."
Whether Miles continues his basketball career in the big league, goes on to accomplish something in the field of ethnic studies, or finds a new interest after graduation the teamwork and mental drive he established on the court will be applied to his everyday life in the future.
"One thing I've learned in basketball that will definitely stay with me is the importance of communication," Miles said. "Whether it's with your teammates or co-workers, communication is the key to success. Basketball taught me to pass the ball and trust my teammates because you can't win a game by yourself, and that concept is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life."