Elijah Miller is ready to return to action.
The 2022-23 Atlantic University Sport (AUS) basketball MVP suffered a devastating injury last summer while playing for the CEBL’s Edmonton Stingers.
The Rexdale, Ontario native is now playing every day and has been since November. The guard plans to head back to the Edmonton Stingers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League this spring. He said he had contract offers during his rehab but turned them down due to his health. His agent has been looking in the new year to find Miller a contract that will let him play until he returns to Edmonton.
“I’m just staying ready for whenever an opportunity comes by,” said Miller.
On July 5, 2023, the point guard dislocated his right ankle in a loss against the Calgary Surge. Miller contested a Stef Smith floater, landing on his opponent’s foot. His ankle kept turning, he felt a snap and went down immediately. When Miller looked at his ankle, it was out of place.
“Everyone’s reaction was really in disgust,” said Miller.
Miller was in a cast for a week and then a boot for a month. This meant he could not use his right leg, preventing any stimulation and making it weaker than his left leg when he took the boot off.
“There was hardly any muscle there,” said Miller.
As the months went on, Miller gradually started to put more weight on his leg. He said the injury made him realize what his life would be like without basketball.
“Knowing that there’s an end goal to it or there’s a positive outlook on it is probably the toughest part,” said Miller.
While with the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers, Miller won an AUS MVP, two AUS silver medals and made U Sports’ first team all-Canadian.
In 2022, Miller was drafted into the CEBL sixth overall by the Guelph Nighthawks. He played sparingly during that season.
Since graduating from UPEI with a bachelor of business administration after the 2022-23 season, Miller picked back up on his CEBL career, playing for the Edmonton Stingers.
Miller had to adjust to a different role with the Stingers. When playing for UPEI, the ball was in Miller’s hands most of the time, but in Edmonton, Miller had to find his baskets moving off the ball.
“I feel like my IQ is really my strong suit, my best attribute to my game, where I can play in any system and adjust,” said Miller.
Miller averaged 18.5 minutes, 7.6 points and 2.6 assists per game on 47 per cent shooting from the field during his time on the Stingers.
Before the ankle injury, Miller began to put on a show like he did in the AUS, earning a starting spot. On July 1, 2023, Miller scored 21 points with six rebounds and seven assists in 31 minutes of play against the Vancouver Bandits.
“He’s got a real passion for basketball, he really loves the game,” said Panthers head coach Darrell Glenn. “Every fall, when he came back to campus, he was always better. He always added something to his game.”
About the author
Thomas is in his fourth year of journalism at the University of King's College. He loves sports and has reported on a variety of them for years....