Miles Returns with Heroic Aspirations

by Lauren Rosen

Not all heroes wear capes, but some sure do. Just ask Isaiah Miles. 

Prior to signing a deal with the 76ers, Miles built some of his fondest memories at Saint Joseph’s, playing games at the historic Palestra, and following in the footsteps of Philadelphia legend Wilt Chamberlain, who once took the very same court.

Miles, however, is also inspired by a different kind of hero, like those that grace the pages of his Marvel comic books. 

Spiderman, who holds a permanent place on Miles’ hand in the form of a tattoo, has been a particularly influential character.

“There’s two Spidermans, Peter Parker and Miles Morales," Miles said recently at the 76ers Training Complex. "Every superhero tells a story, but the Miles Morales Spiderman tells the story that he came from not-so-good beginnings, he came from a tough childhood. He was able to overcome that and grow as a person, grow as a man, grow as a superhero, and become one of the best superheroes in New York City. He triumphed through a lot of disaster.”

Deadpool is another favorite of Isaiah Miles, who explained that he’s particularly fond of heroes who can be funny and lighthearted, yet dangerous when the time comes.

Miles says Deadpool informs much of his own on-court persona.

“I’m easygoing, I’m funny and goofy off the court,” Miles said. “But when we’re between those lines, it hits a switch in my mind and it’s all about business.”

No stranger to the Philadelphia area, Miles spent four years at Saint Joseph’s University from 2012-2016. He's ready to channel his heroes in his return stateside, after playing abroad since 2016. 

“I love Philly a lot,” Miles said.

Honored as the Atlantic 10’s Most Improved Player as a senior in 2016, Miles went undrafted before signing with JDA Dijon Basket in France. He then played for Usak Sportif in Turkey, before joining Sekou Doumbouya - the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft - at Limoges CSP in France.

“It allowed me to be humble, hungry, and patient,” Miles said of his international ventures. “I stayed patient, I worked hard overseas, I waited for my moment, and I finally got it right now.”

Miles played for the 76ers’ Summer League squad in 2017 and 2018, and this year joined the Orlando Magic’s summer roster.

The 6-foot-7 Miles says he’s now ready for the next set of challenges.

“I’m really excited to be stateside now, and one step closer to achieving my dream,” Miles said.

That dream?

“To be in the NBA. To be not only in the NBA, but be a contributor in the NBA, and actually contribute to a championship team,” Miles said.

Lucky for Miles, his lofty aspirations align with those of his new organization, which is looking for as many heroes as it can find to help with its push towards a title.

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