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The tide of sports is changing.
And no, we’re not just talking about players hitting the league earlier; it’s more about them using their agency. Gone are the days when teams expect young talented players to attend legacy schools that benefit from their likeness. Some ballers are opting to go play overseas instead of playing in college like LaMelo Ball, while others would rather hone their skills in the G League like Jalen Green. But Hercy Miller, son of rap legend and entrepreneur Master P has another idea– embracing the culture of HBCUs. We previously learned that Miller choosing an HBCU was a decision he made on his own, and his father recognized that his son wanted to make a difference.
In making that difference he chose to attend the 500-acre HBCU known as Tennessee State to show off his basketball skills for the foreseeable future. TSU, the only state-funded historically black university in the state, is known for hosting notable alumni like Oprah Winfrey, Portland Trail Blazer, Robert Covington, and legendary pilot and longest-serving senator Ulysses Lee “Rip” Gooch.
We chopped it up with Hercy about where he sees his career going, the lore of HBCU homecomings, & more.
What do you think are some of the biggest life lessons for you that you’ve brought here with you from your dad, from your family?
Hercy: Well with me always growing up my dad told me you don’t work, you don’t eat. It’s that simple. Nothing is handed to me. I’m here to work. I know it’s going to be hard, but I’m going to keep fighting. He also told me another life lesson that got me this far that you have to be a student-athlete. I can’t just be an athlete. So school is important. I’m an all A student and I’m just going to keep that up. Those are my goals this year.
Are you going to keep your basketball camp here because I know that’s important for you to be able to keep that in the community.
Hercy: Camp 15 is just one year of many years to continue on. It was a great camp this year. I had 1000 kids come. Next year I’m trying to make it even bigger. So Camp 15 next year for sure.
How important is it to be able to give back to the community? That’s dope to be able to come here in a community like this and just be able to give back.
Hercy: Like my dad said, that’s been a goal of mine. To help the youth, help the elderly. That also [played into] my decision going here. Nashville is a place where I can be a part of the community and have the community to have my back. I just feel like I’ve learned that from my dad at a young age. Giving back is a blessing. I want to be a blessing to other people just how my dad is a blessing to me. And ever since a young age I’ve just been giving back trying to help out. And I’m just going to continue doing that.
And Nashville is a second home already?
Hercy: Nashville is a second home. It [feels] like I’ve been here forever.
Is there a four-year end goal?
Hercy: My goal in life right now is to make it to the [NBA]. So it just depends on how long it takes. I’m not really in a rush. However long it takes I’m just going to keep working hard. If it takes four years or one year, I’m just going to keep working until it’s my time.
Every time I hear this and think about it I don’t even know if I put that much thought into choosing my college, right? So that says a lot not only about who you are as a young man, but how you were raised as a young man. Is there anything that’s been interesting or eye-opening since you’ve been here?
Hercy: Well with me, ever since I’ve been here, the talk around town is homecoming. So I’m looking forward to homecoming. I’m loving the environment, I’m loving the coach. Everything around here is just how I expected it. It feels like I am at home with family. And I just love it.
What have they said about homecoming here?
Hercy: Word around town is homecoming is a week that you won’t forget.
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