A 10-18 season has naturally taken a hard emotional toll on Jamelle McMillan. Yet, it may just be topped by the physical struggles the point guard has and still is going through. Much like his fellow seniors Ty Abbott and Rihards Kuksiks, McMillan has been bothered by an injury for long stretches of the season. He has played through a nagging groin injury since December, and did miss three games in the process.
Ultimately, the physical strain on his body is what has caused him to reach the difficult decision concerning his playing future.
“I always told myself that if I was at this point and my career allowed me to be successful at the NBA level then go for it,” McMillan explained. “But at some point you have to accept reality and at this point my body hasn’t held up in order to have a career that would be beneficial to me in the long run. Going overseas – that is for certain guys and it takes a special individual to go over there and adjust just like that.
“My main deal was to come in here, have a great senior season, go out and play for the ASU community, play for the fans and just have a solid year and everything else will take care of itself. So if it’s moving on from basketball and doing something else within the game so be it. But playing at this point…not so much in my sights.”
So what does the future hold for McMillan?
“I talked to a few people NBA wise, as far as scouting or something like that. Who knows what my dad’s (Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan) deal is…possibly something with the organization in Portland which has been very good to us or wherever he ends up. I have been doing the TV show (Devilball with Herb Sendek) so that may present itself, radio or whatever it may be.”
“I am open to anything at this point.”
Coming into the last two contests of the regular season, McMillan has played 119 games, starting 75 of them. Thus far this season he is averaging 6.8 points per game and leading the team with 3.7 assists per contest. In the last eight games he has been torrid from beyond the arc shooting at a 46.7 clip (14-of-30).
In his last campaign with the maroon and gold he has posted three of the top scoring games in his career, including a career-high 17 points at Stanford on February 5th.
McMillan feels that the 2010-11 season has personally been an unsound year for him, but that he has in some respects overachieved during his entire time with the Sun Devils. McMillan and his fellow seniors have combined for 78 wins, tied for the sixth-most in a four-year period in Sun Devil history
“Overall, it has been a phenomenal four years,” McMillan commented. “I had great teammates, an amazing coaching staff and the support around this community is unbelievable. I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish here. Three straight 20-win seasons. This season we came up short, but at the same time the message and the lessons learned definitely as valuable as the last three seasons.
“I can’t complain it has been great.”
McMillan confessed that he hasn’t given much thought yet as to what emotions he will experience on Saturday afternoon shortly before the 2 pm tip-off against Oregon State when he will be honored in his last ever home game. The ever pragmatic senior is right now more concerned finishing a disappointing season on a high note.
“It has been a real interesting four years,” McMillan said. “I had a great career here. It would mean a lot to go out with two victories at home. It’s going to be a tough two games as they were back up in Oregon. I’m just excited to go out and play for my fans and play for the team and give it all for a university that has provided me with such a great opportunity.
“I am very fortunate and very appreciative.”