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McMillan to turn to coaching, making candles

The definition of class and mature beyond his years, Jamelle McMillan is a complex individual.

He spends his spare time making candles and plans to write a novel sometime down the road.

But one thing that probably won’t be in his future is continuing to play basketball.

With no desire to play overseas, McMillan plans to hang up the sneakers whenever ASU’s season comes to an end.

“At some point you have to accept reality,” McMillan said. “At this point, my body has not held up to have a career that would be beneficial to me in the long run. To go overseas, that’s for certain people and it takes a special person to go over there and just adjust like that.”

Playing the game has always been a part of McMillan’s life. Growing up the son of an NBA player and coach, basketball is in his blood.

The logical assumption would be that giving up on his playing days would be tough to come to grips with.

While it may be emotional, McMillan is too smart to not understand that his talents would benefit him in the long run if they were spent elsewhere.

“It will be a tough deal to take the Nikes and throw them to the side and take the uniform off for the last time,” McMillan said. “I’m comfortable with it because it has put me in position to do a lot of great things. I’ll always still be a part of the game.

“Life is moving on to another chapter. I feel comfortable making that transition without putting on the uniform.”

That next chapter has yet to be determined, but McMillan has many options.

He’d like to get into scouting in the NBA, wouldn’t mind joining his father’s staff with the Portland Trail Blazers and has already started developing characters for a novel.

“I’m open to anything,” McMillan said. “I have no set goals or plans. I’m going to evaluate the best situation for me after I talk to a few more people.

“I write a lot in my spare time. It is something I have been considering and working towards. It is difficult, but it is something fun to do in my spare time.”

Many expect him to follow in his father’s footsteps and get into the coaching profession, something that ASU coach Herb Sendek could easily see happen.

“He understands what is involved with the profession because he’s lived it,” Sendek said. “There comes some insight and breathe of knowledge with all the things he’s been able to watch and hear through the years.”

While his career numbers won’t break any records, McMillan brought leadership and a steady presence to ASU, which was sorely missed when he sat out due to injury.

“I do lean on him to try and get a pulse for our team, to be a great communicator,” Sendek said. “Those are things that we really try to draw out of all of our players. Jamelle seems to be a natural.”

Ty Abbott, McMillan’s close friend, took a different approach to the question posed to him about McMillan becoming a coach down the road.

“It depends on what side of the bed he wakes up on,” Abbott joked. “Some days he has all the insight, other days he doesn’t want to be bothered. I guess that’s typical of a coach, so he’s right there.”

Regardless of where McMillan’s career takes him, he will approach his profession with the same high level of class that he approached during his career as a Sun Devil.

He wants to play out the final games of his playing days for his teammates, coaches and fans that have supported him from day one.

“Overall it has been a phenomenal four years,” McMillan said. “I’ve had great teammates, an amazing coaching staff and the support around this community is unbelievable.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish here. Three 20-win seasons, this one came up a little bit short but at the same time the message and lessons learned are as valuable as the past three seasons.”

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