Andre Miller announces his gift of $500,000 to the University of Utah athletics department.
April 11, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY - Andre Miller, a two-time All-American men's basketball player at the University of Utah, has committed a gift of $500,000 to his alma mater's athletics department. Miller's donation has been earmarked for two areas, with $300,000 funding the Andre Miller Endowed Scholarship and $200,000 going toward the men's basketball team room renovation. The announcement came today from Utah associate A.D. for external relations Chris Ritrievi.
The Andre Miller Point Guard Scholarship is the first fully endowed scholarship from a professional athlete who graduated from the University of Utah and the 16th endowed scholarship overall for athletics.
Miller's commitment toward the newly renovated men's basketball team room, coupled with a $125,000 contribution from Andrew Bogut last April, will fund the project entirely. In addition to an expanded locker room area, the new team room features a players' lounge, flat panel televisions, and upscale furniture and lighting.
"I am very fortunate to be in a position where I can give back and help others," said Miller. "The University of Utah opened a lot of doors for me and hopefully this scholarship will do the same for someone else. I consider Utah to be the best university in the country, and I hope other former Ute athletes will follow in my footsteps."
Miller is one of seven players in school history have his jersey retired. His No. 24 was raised to the Huntsman Center rafters on Feb. 10, 2000. Miller finished his career at Utah first in steals (254), second in assists (721) and 10th in scoring (1,618 points). As a senior, Miller was named the Basketball Weekly National Player of the Year and a consensus All-American. He was also a finalist for the Wooden, Naismith and Oscar Robertson Player of the Year awards. His junior year, Miller was named third team All-America, leading the Utes to a national runner-up finish. He made the Final Four all-tournament team and was one of 10 finalists for USBWA Player of the Year.
Miller earned first team all-conference honors as a junior and senior. He was also the recipient of the 1998-99 Joe Kearney Award as the male athlete of the year in the Western Athletic Conference. During his career from 1995-99, he led the Utes to a 114-20 overall record and a 56-6 mark in conference play. He also played in 15 NCAA Tournament games, tied for the most in Ute history. Miller averaged 12.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists over the course of his Utah career.
For all of his success on the court, the Compton, Calif., native made some of his greatest strides at Utah in the classroom. Miller entered the U. as a partial qualifier academically, yet received his degree in four years to become one of the first athletes in the history of the NCAA to regain his fourth year of eligibility. He received his bachelor's degree in sociology in the spring of 1998.
Currently in his third year with the Denver Nuggets, Miller was selected eighth overall in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. This season Miller ranks third in the NBA in assists (8.4 apg). He is also averaging 15.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Nuggets, who clinched the Northwest Division title with a win over Portland last night.
"I am thrilled with the announcement of this wonderful gift," said University of Utah president Michael K. Young. "It is tremendously gratifying when someone with extraordinary talent and success gives back so others may have the opportunity to do great things."
"Andre Miller is one of the greatest student-athletes we've ever had at the University of Utah," said Utah director of athletics Dr. Chris Hill. "It's the ultimate compliment to have someone of Andre's stature give back to our program. It shows what a deep meaning it had to him to be here at the University of Utah."
"For Andre to give back in this way is really something special for the University of Utah and our basketball program," said Ute head coach Ray Giacoletti. "We're trying to make this as much of a family atmosphere as we can with everyone who has ever been associated with Utah basketball. The Andre Miller Point Guard Scholarship and contribution to our team room renovation are two wonderful ways to keep Andre close to the current players for years to come. We're very appreciative for Andre's willingness to step up and give back to our program."