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Saturday, July 29, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM


McMillan will stay at O'Dea

Special to The Seattle Times

After considering a move to be closer to his father in the Portland area, Jamelle McMillan has decided to return to O'Dea for his senior season of basketball.

McMillan, 17, son of the Portland Trail Blazers coach, thought about transferring to Oregon powers Lake Oswego or Jesuit.

Ultimately, McMillan decided to finish out what he started at O'Dea. The 6-foot-2, 175-point guard has helped the Irish to the Class 3A state-championship game in his first three years, winning titles in 2004 and 2005.

"Moving was definitely a conversation we've had as a family a lot of times," said McMillan, who averaged 11.5 points and about five assists and four rebounds as a junior for the Irish. "My dad said he loves O'Dea and said he wants me to finish up and graduate there."

While coaching the Blazers, Nate McMillan lived alone in the Portland area while the rest of family — wife Michelle, son Jamelle and 14-year-old daughter Brittany — remained in Seattle.

"I don't know if we were really close to moving," Jamelle McMillan said of transferring to an Oregon high school. "But it was definitely tough on my dad without us, because he's ultimately the family man."

In the end, it was easy for McMillan to return for his senior year at O'Dea.

"I fit in," he said. "I've been doing great there academically, and we made the state championship (in basketball) three times and won it two years. I'm used to the coaching style, the assistant coaches and players around me. I like the environment.

"They take a lot of pride in what they do there. I love the people there. So there were a lot of things that kept me there."

McMillan said he'll choose where he will play college basketball before November. He will likely choose from North Carolina State, Arizona State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Illinois.

Brittany McMillan will attend Seattle Prep this fall and play basketball there.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company



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