Basketball has always been a part of Jason Miles’ life. It all started shortly after he began to walk, when his father handed him a basketball.
A Tallahassee native and former Godby High School standout, Miles’ skills and love of the game took time to develop.
Initially Miles excelled as a track athlete but found the transition to the sport of basketball to be a smooth one.
“The game of basketball is something I’ve really worked hard at,” said Miles.
That same work ethic brought Miles to Florida A&M University, where he continues to play basketball on the collegiate level.
Asked about his decision to attend FAMU, Miles cited several reasons.
Being close to home was one factor that made his decision a bit easier.
“Friends and family get a chance to come and see me at most of my games, and that’s a real confidence booster,” Miles said.
He admits his personal and overall team confidence could probably use that boost of confidence this season.
Miles went on to talk about the coaching change as well as his changing role on the team since last year’s campaign.
“I’m struggling right now with my shooting and this is a different system I’m playing in, but I’ve accepted that role and will keep playing hard,” Miles said.
That new role has seen Miles’ nearly 13 point per game average from last year slip to just over 5 points per game at this juncture of the 2002 campaign.
“I’m not the guy this year, I’m a role player,” he said.
Miles said he understands that first-year basketball head coach Michael Gillespie’s system stresses defense first.
Asked about his reduced playing time, Miles admitted that it has been a challenge adjusting his mentality from primarily an offensive threat to defensive presence.
“Defense is a staple this year, the only way you play, is to play solid defense first,” Miles said.
Echoing Miles comments on the importance of strong defensive play was Gillespie. Gillespie said that although Miles’ playing time and role as a scorer have been reduced, he has still made major contributions to the team.
“Miles has improved his overall game, he’s not just a better scorer, but a better player,” Gillespie said.
Gillespie pointed out that while Miles has had difficulty shooting the ball lately, he has made efficient use of the minutes he has received on the court.