A familiar name appeared on the list when the Suns and Head Coach Igor Kokoškov announced their coaching staff. From the Sun Devils to the Suns, Jamelle McMillan has returned to the Valley in a role that many knew he’d soon fill.
Prior to becoming an assistant with the New Orleans Pelicans, McMillan spent his college career in the Valley playing four years at Arizona State University from 2007-2011. He helped lead the Sun Devils to the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and finished his career tied for the most wins by any four-year player in school history with 80 victories.
As the son of current Pacers’ Head Coach Nate McMillan, it was clear early on that Jamelle was on the path to coaching. In 2009, Jamelle may have only been a junior in college, but the Arizona Republic was already writing about his future career path.
“McMillan hopes to one day follow his father, Nate, and coach in the NBA,” Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic wrote. “Talk to McMillan long enough, and it’s clear he’s on his way.”
McMillan was a floor general for the Sun Devils as he led the Pac-10 with a 2.68 assist-to-turnover ratio in 2010-11. He is now taking that leadership to the sidelines.
"Whether you're a player or a coach or a GM, it's about how much you're willing to put into the job,” McMillan told NYDailyNews.com back in 2009.
His early maturity, basketball IQ and effort on the court had the campus buzzing back then about what could be next for the young guard.
“You know, the talk around Arizona State is that one day Jamelle McMillan will coach the Sun Devils,” Haller wrote.
While he might not be back at ASU, McMillan has returned to the Valley as one of the youngest assistant coaches in the NBA. The 29-year-old will work with Kokoškov and the Suns as they head into the 2018-19 season.
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