Off the Court: Darius Miller

By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer

During Kentucky’s run to the 2012 NCAA men’s basketball championship, forward Darius Miller was often described in coverage of the Wildcats as “laidback” and a “quiet leader.” In person, the 6-foot-8, 235-pound Miller comes across as a serious, all-business kind of guy. He also gives the first impression of being a bit older than his 22 years of age.

In profiles of Miller from his collegiate career, the Maysville, Ky., native said his favorite activity with teammates was to go to the movies, acknowledging that he prefers low-key pursuits away from basketball. The NBA rookie sat down with Hornets.com recently to discuss his background.

People who’ve had the most influence on his basketball career: “My dad, by far. He’s the reason I even got into basketball.”

People who’ve had the most influence on him off the court: “My dad, my mom and my grandmother. I’m from a very close family.”

Best moment as an athlete: “Winning a national championship at Kentucky.”

How he chose his current uniform number of 2: “I didn’t really choose it, honestly. [laughs] I wore 21 in high school and 1 in college.” (Editor’s note: Greivis Vasquez and Hakim Warrick wear 21 and 1, respectively, for the Hornets)

Something fans might be surprised to know about him: “Some people might not know I’m a movie buff.”

Favorite thing about New Orleans: “The different culture here. I feel like it’s a different type of city than most big cities. I like it.”

First job: “I used to cut grass when I was really young.”

Favorite athlete as a kid: “Muhammad Ali, because I like how he carried himself, plus he’s from Kentucky like me.” (Editor’s note: Ali is a Louisville native).

Closest friends currently playing on other NBA teams: “Patrick Patterson of Houston, Josh Harrellson of Miami. All of my former teammates from Kentucky. I have 14 or 15 teammates playing in the NBA now.”

Favorite type of music: “R&B and hip-hop. My favorite guys are J. Cole or Kendrick Lamar.”

Favorite TV shows: “The Boondocks.”

Favorite movie of all time: “I like a lot of movies, but He Got Game might be my favorite one.”

Favorite websites: “ESPN.com.”