MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ask Mavrick Miller if he minds being the son of former Memphis Grizzlies player Mike Miller, he’ll tell you that pressure is a privilege.
"I like it because people, it puts pressure on me. I like pressure. I’ve played through pressure all my life so it’s fun," Mavrick said.
So it’s not a problem that in his senior season, Mavrick is the Houston Mustangs top gun. He's averaging 15 points and eight rebounds a game while shooting 38% from three and 50% from the field.
"He may not always be the most vocal leader, but he’s in there and he works hard. He’s in the gym extra getting up shots and to me that’s being a leader and being a good teammate," said Rob Sabau, head coach at Houston.
Mike Miller was a 17 year NBA veteran, including seven years in Memphis as a Grizzly. He also spent two years as an assistant under head coach Penny Hardaway and in 2020 took on a short stint as head coach at Houston where he led the Mustangs to a championship.
Following Dad is easy, but plenty of influence comes from hoopers just a few years older.
“I’ve some great examples from my brother, TJ Medlock, Johnathan Lawson and me and Brock and Cam Clark are doing a real good job coming from sophomore year until now. Being on varsity our whole lives, it's second nature to us."
Mavrick’s brother is Creighton forward Mason Miller, a 2021 AAA Mr. Basketball winner, who helped lead Houston to it’s first state championship under his father Mike. He did that alongside former Gatorade Player of the Year and three time state champion Jonathan Lawson, now at Memphis under Hardaway.
"(Jonathan) is arguably one of the best high school basketball players of all time, so learning from him as much as you can, even if it’s a little bit, is great, and then my brother, he doesn’t talk that much, but when he does you’ve got to listen and it’s good stuff," Mavrick said.
If his superstar level mullet doesn’t remind you of his pops, Mavrick’s game might. He has the same same sweet shooting stroke as his NBA champion dad, but also doesn't mind banging inside despite being four inches shorter than Mike and Mason.
"Everybody probably thinks he’s a shooter but honestly he finishes really, really well around the basket. I think that's his strength," Sabau said. "He’s way more physical than people led me to believe."
Coming to a Houston High game, you might see Ja Morant or his father Tee in the gym to catch Ja's sister Teniya.
Or you might catch Mike Miller, standing along the baseline trying to look as incognito as his 6'8" NBA frame will allow. He, too, sees the physicality and versatility in his youngest son's game.
"(Mavrick's) done a really good job transforming into an on and off the ball (player). He’s a three-level scorer which is hard to stop so he uses his body really well and he’s shooting it really well," Miller said
Mavrick was a sophomore on the Houston team that won a state championship while Mike was the head coach.
He observes more from the sidelines in 2023, but says his son is handling the spotlight just fine.
"It’s always hard. When you’re playing you don’t feel it. When you’re watching your kids play it’s hard," Mike said. "But he’s done a good job of handling it and he’s done a great job creating his own thing."