Player Name: Damir Miller

Year in School: 8th Grade

Sport: Basketball

Name of School: China Grove Middle School

Brief bio/summary from coach about player:

Damir had never played basketball leading into try-outs for 7th grade two years ago. He steadily worked on his skill level while learning the game coming off the bench his first year. This past season (his second) Damir was a starter and leading rebounder who developed into the player the other teams worried about the most. With each game experience, Damir’s confidence in himself grew which allowed him to develop into an influential leader on our team. He frequently beat the coach at practice and always encouraged his teammates when the situation looked too difficult. It has been a blessing to be a small part of Damir’s basketball experience and will always be proud of his growth as a basketball player and leader.

Let’s Hear From Damir

What has helped you develop the leadership mindset you have today?

My teammate, Colin. He was my inspiration, I really liked how he played and I loved the time we spent on the court together. My entire team and coaching staff has really helped my leadership grow.

How do you think improving as a leader has helped you become a better athlete/player? 

Most likely being on the court with my teammates and in some of our classes. Lead ‘Em Up has helped a lot.

How do you think improving as a leader has helped your team?  

Probably getting through tough times, on the court and off.

Was there a moment where you recall “turning the corner” and realizing you had to take the next step as a leader? 

I feel a moment happened during our tournament this season. We put up a pretty good game against North (a very good opponent) and I felt like I was able to help my team with my leadership in that game.

How do other’s view Damir’s leadership growth?

Parent or teammate statements about player’s leadership growth:

Damir became a great leader in practice. He was always positive and brought energy to the team for every practice and game. He is a great teammate and is always keeping each of our heads up. – Aaron Jones Teammate

Coach statement on player’s leadership growth: 

Damir was quiet and still unsure of himself and his place in the team structure at the beginning of the season. Through his high energy engagement in Lead ‘Em Up sessions and his enthusiasm and encouragement of teammates, his teammates began to listen then followed his voice. He held himself accountable which helped him to hold his teammates accountable through grace and truth. –Coach Adrian Mills

How has Lead ‘Em Up has impacted your program?

Lead ‘Em Up has taught our players how to maintain a high level of accountability through being a green team. We developed a mindset of growth even during high adversity, and to always be ready so we didn’t have to get ready. -Coach Adrian Mills


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