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Mcmiller Brings Enthusiasm, Success Formula To Chabot Men's Basketball

Keenan McMiller
Keenan McMiller

New Chabot men's basketball coach Keenan McMiller sure seems like the right man in the right spot.
A Chabot graduate and former Gladiators' player, he has enjoyed much success coaching at Merritt College the past nine years. Factor in his zest for local recruiting and emphasis on preparing players for the next level, and McMiller seems like a slam dunk hire for Chabot.
From a marketing perspective, McMiller plans to do a media guide, dress up the gymnasium with wall graphics and advertisements and network with local restaurants and stores. He sees a basketball program poised for takeoff.
"Hayward is a close-knit community and if they feel comfortable you'll get the best kids to stay," he says. "… To me it's a gold mine as far as the opportunity to do great things. It's just getting out there. You've got to be a guy that wants to build relationships."
McMiller has long had a connection with Chabot basketball.
He played on the Gladiators' 1999-2000 state playoff team for Tony Costello before excelling on a Merritt team that advanced to the state's Elite 8. He also played at San Francisco State, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Pyschology with an emphasis in Sports Psychology.
"I still have long lasting friendships with former Chabot College local stars: Iman Mattox (Hayward High) who went on to play at D1 Fairleigh Dickinson and Michael Buggs (Tennyson High) who won a D2 national championship at Metro State University in Colorado," McMiller recently told Nor Cal basketball.
As a head coach for six years at Merritt, McMiller guided the team to two State Final Four appearances. Overall, 38 Thunderbirds players graduated or went on to Division I, Division II or NAIA programs during McMiller's time on the coaching staff.
McMiller is a Cal High graduate who also attended Saint Mary's High in Berkeley.
"I've seen the Bay Area grow and know it really well being a community college product, a CCCAA product, and I moved around a little bit so I've seen the entire state," McMiller says. "There's not many places in California I haven't been."
What is his coaching philosophy?
"The first part is the academic end," he says. "We're definitely going to make sure guys are retained after their first year and they're able to graduate and then transfer, that's the most important part. That's the foundation piece. On the basketball end, we're gonna be intense on the defensive end. Philosophically man-to-man is my thing, pressure man-to-man and being able to just guard man-to-man and be physical and be tough."
On the offensive end, McMiller says he tends to evolve based on the team's personnel.
"The key at our level is to make sure that you have basic-fundamental structure in what you do: Learning how to set pick-and-rolls properly, pick-and-pops properly. Learning how to come off screens catch-and-shoot," he says.
A tireless worker, McMiller is extremely well-connected in basketball circles. He knows everyone. He has been the Bay Valley rep the past four years.
Moreover, he's also not afraid of facing anyone on the court.
"I've shied away from nobody from Southern California to Northern California … so that's what I'm about," he says. "I'm excited to be back in the Coast-North. People basically look at the Coast-North as the best conference in Northern California."
So it promises to be an exciting journey for Coach McMiller's Gladiators. Try and keep up. Things are progressing quickly.