ROSELAWN – Ohio’s male Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year and the Co-Ohio Division II Player of the Year Paul McMillan IV has found a college home for his array of talents on the hardwood.
Near the Woodward High School gym where he scored many of his 2,658 career points, the Bulldog senior selected the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The Highlanders play NCAA Division I basketball in the America East Conference. The school is located in Newark, New Jersey.
He made the announcement in the Woodward library in front of a crowd of friends, family and fellow Bulldogs. McMillan’s trophies were to his right and video highlights played to his left. A video also preceded his announcement.
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The final eight schools involved were: Cal State Northridge, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Cleveland State, Penn, Loyola Marymount, Kansas State, Ball State and Northeastern. When the video was completed, it shuffled all the schools and stopped on NJIT as it’s known in basketball circles.
The Highlanders haven’t had a winning season since 2018-19, something McMillan hopes to resolve in short order.
“I went on a visit a couple weeks ago and they just welcomed me,” McMillan IV said. “I worked out with one of their kids and he told me of the opportunities not only from a basketball standpoint but they’re like a Top 50 business school. I want to major in business marketing and real estate. Just the whole family piece. I’m glad they offered me and I’m glad they want me there.”
A bonus for Cincinnati fans is that NJIT comes to Fifth Third Arena to play the University of Cincinnati Bearcats Dec. 3. McMillan IV hopes to be in the lineup that night, if not earlier.
“I’m looking to come in and score, facilitate and be that second coach on the floor,” McMillan IV said. “They had a great chance to win the conference these last couple years and I just feel like I can push them and show them my work ethic. I’m really expecting to come back Dec. 3 (vs. UC). I’m looking forward to that game.”
Paul McMillan IV’s career at Woodwood High School in Cincinnati, Ohio
His father, Paul McMillan III, described the chaotic process of recruiting as his son first started receiving offers as a freshman.
“The journey’s been crazy,” McMillan III said. “We’ve been through COVID, through ups and downs, all kinds of stuff. His list has changed about 20 different times. He’s been over here with schools, over there with schools, coaches have been getting hired, coaches have been getting fired. Some people believed early, some people didn’t believe.”
McMillan III and his wife, Amy, joined Paul at the front table along with Woodward head coach Jarelle Redden and athletic director Jabreel Moton. Redden said several schools came in late for his prized guard. The Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference Coach of the Year says NJIT is getting an “alpha” male.
“A guy that can go in young and is willing to step up and be a leader,” Redden said. “Last year they were missing that leader. In talking to the coach and hearing what they needed and knowing Paul, it was a great fit. Leadership, running the floor is the biggest thing he can bring.”
Redden points out Newark’s proximity to the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Nearby non-conference games on their schedule last season were Rutgers, St. John’s and Army.
The appeal of the Big Apple appealed to McMillan IV’s interests.
“It’s a big city, a lot of NBA teams, great shopping stores.” McMillan IV said. “It’s just different out there. A lot of people thought I was going to Purdue or Penn State or a school like that but things change up and this is the best fit for me. You can go to the NBA from anywhere now.”
Before McMillan wrapped up his career at Woodward, he passed the scoring numbers of NBA great LeBron James. In addition to his scoring exploits, McMillan was a 4.0 student and Woodward valedictorian.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 175-pound point guard was third in scoring in the CMAC as a freshman at Hughes. He played his final three seasons at Woodward topping the league in scoring all three seasons (31.3, 28.0, 27.3).
He returned to Woodward for his senior year after briefly attending Hillcrest Academy in Gilbert, Arizona, in the summer of 2021 until last October. The Bulldogs won back-to-back CMAC-Red Division titles and McMillan was league Player of the Year his freshman, junior and senior years.
Most recently, 247Sports.com listed McMillan as a three-star recruit and the 10th best 2022 player in Ohio, 47th nationally at point guard. He is the No. 6 all-time basketball scorer in Ohio history.
As for new name, image and likeness opportunities, McMillan IV has an image that he wears around his neck “4PM.” He said he’s is forming an AAU team and McMillan III says several deals are on the table.
“He will be getting paid a nice amount of money,” McMillan III said of the college name, image and likeness opportunities.