Archie Miller's Moment In Time
Dec. 18, 2010
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RALEIGH, N.C. - Some moments are suspended in time.
For Archie Miller, the night he'll never forget is Nov. 19, 1999, when he drained a 3-pointer with just 58 seconds remaining in the inaugural game at the Entertainment and Sports Arena, a critical jumper that gave the Wolfpack a 67-63 victory over Georgia on a black-tie opening night at the Wolfpack's long-awaited new arena.
"I still have the poster of the celebration we had right after that shot went in hanging on the wall," Miller said. "That was a good moment. I remember is like it was yesterday.
"In my time at NC State, I played in both the ESA and in Reynolds. Having the opportunity to play in both places is something special for me."
Those memories will race through Miller's mind as he returns to what is now known as the RBC Center Sunday afternoon, when NC State hosts Arizona in an important non-conference contest. Tipoff is slated for 4:45 p.m. and the game will be televised on Fox Sports South.
That final 3-pointer against Georgia remains one of the highlights of Miller's time at NC State, which included five years as a player, two as the director of basketball operations and one as an assistant coach to former Wolfpack head coach Herb Sendek.
In fact, of Sendek's 10 seasons in Raleigh, the only time Miller wasn't involved with the program was his senior year at Blackhawk High School in Beaver Falls, Pa., when he was being recruited by NC State, and the single season he spent as a full-time assistant at Western Kentucky.
"NC State obviously is a special place that gave me the opportunity to play and to get started on my coaching career," Miller said. "I still have strong relationships with people in Raleigh, within the athletics department and the university.
"Honestly, I reflect on my time at NC State as a huge positive. I got into coaching at a time when I could help NC State. It obviously means the world to me, because of all the things I was able to do there."
For much of his playing career, Miller was coached by his older brother Sean, who at the time was one of Sendek's assistants and is now Archie's boss as head coach at Arizona.
Archie Miller spent one season with Sendek at Arizona State and two seasons with Thad Matta at Ohio State before joining Sean Miller as associate head coach at Arizona in 2009. They are in their second season together leading the Wildcats.
He admits that is a little weird that Sendek is nearby as the head coach at Arizona State. It makes their relationship, which dates back to Miller's sophomore year in high school, a little different these days.
"The business removes you from the day-to-day, intimate interaction," Miller said. "At the same time, I've known Coach Sendek since I was about 15 years old. He did a lot for me, as a basketball player, a coach and a person.
"He taught me how to do things the right way and I still have the work ethic he taught me."
While the Miller brothers are still in the building process at Arizona, Archie hopes that one day he will have the opportunity to lead his own program, following in both his brother's and his father John's footsteps.
"Anytime you get into coaching, it would be silly not to say that you hope to have the opportunity to be a head coach one day," he said. "I think that's why I got into coaching. I've worked for some amazing people at some amazing places. Right now, I'm entrenched here in Arizona with Sean. It's a unique opportunity here. This was a personal move for me, to be with Sean.
"We're working hard to restore a place that has a great college basketball tradition. Hopefully, I'll have a chance to be a head coach in college one day. If we do good things here, I'm sure that'll happen."