Who says you can’t go home again?
Before starring at Georgia Tech and playing overseas, Maurice “Moe” Miller was a prolific player at Raleigh Egypt High School, leading his team to the state basketball tournament before graduating in 2007.
Miller returned to his Raleigh Egypt roots four years ago as a coach, where he’s had success in county championships and has a successful coaching record. And during a recent special ceremony that included longtime Raleigh Egypt coach Jimmy Adams, Miller’s jerseys – both middle school and high school – have now been officially retired.
“I am speechless. I couldn’t imagine it,” said Miller, who recently took over as coach at Arlington High School. “To have (my jersey) retired in both middle school and high school. . . To see Coach Adams here and all my coaches is a great feeling.”
Miller’s jersey was retired during “Alumni Night” at Raleigh Egypt, as the team fell to East High School, 58-71. But the game was a reunion of sorts: Not only did Miller play for Adams there, so did incoming coach Jeremy Holmes.
And who was on Adams’ coaching staff while Jeremy played? Jeremy’s older brother Javonte, who is now head coach at East High.
Adams has been a fixture in local high school hoops. He won back-to-back state championships while he coached at Central High School. He also coached Division I ball at Ole Miss and at the University of Memphis under Larry Finch. After coaching collegiately, he returned to high school coaching.
Miller played for Adams at Raleigh Egypt, and while his coaching career didn’t start under Adams, it is where he got and continues to get his coaching philosophy. Miller is in constant contact with his elder, picking the brain of the veteran coach.
“It is rewarding,” Miller said. “It gives me a deeper understanding of the other side (of coaching). I know how hard it is, pushing and the daily focus of helping them to get to college and school.
“I was always recruited and I took it for granted,” Miller said. “I was recruited by a lot of schools. Now with me as a coach, trying to get kids in school is a process. You enjoy it and trust it.”
Now at Arlington, Miller enters a new phase of his coaching career.
“(Leaving Raleigh Egypt) was extremely difficult,” he said. “It took a lot of talking to my loved ones and a lot of focus. But I couldn’t feel any better with Coach (Jeremy) Holmes taking over. He coached under me for three years.”
One thing all of the coaches involved in the game have in common was a desire to improve the lives of the players on the teams — a commitment to being a role model who uses basketball to teach student-athletes a better way of living.