James Milliken, a guard from Cowley County Community College, has signed a letter-of-intent to play basketball next year at Creighton University. Milliken will be a junior and have two years of eligibility remaining.
“James is someone that my staff and I feel can score the basketball in a variety of ways," said Creighton head coach Greg McDermott. "He has been highly successful playing for Tommy DeSalme at Cowley CC, with his team having won 45 games in his two season in Kansas. We feel that his basketball IQ and his character fit perfectly with our returning team as we head into the BIG EAST Conference. We are very excited about James’ future in the Bluejay family and at Creighton University.”
Milliken is a 6-foot-2 guard originally from Siler City, N.C., where he attended Jordan Matthews High School. As a prep, he was named second-team all-state, averaging 27 points per game as a senior after scoring 29 per contest as a junior.
Reached by phone, Milliken was eager for his future on The Hilltop. "I thought Creighton was the best fit for me in the end, and I felt it was the best place to go to win a national championship. I liked the whole area and Omaha, and enjoyed the team and coaches. It was a perfect atmosphere."
At Cowley, Milliken scored 1,150 career points to rank sixth in Tigers history. He averaged 17.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest as a freshman, when he was named Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division Freshman of the Year, Second-Team All-Conference and named to the Region VI All-Tournament Team. Cowley is located in Arkansas City, Kan.
As a sophomore, Milliken led Cowley with 18.4 points per game while shooting 42.2 percent from three-point range. He was named First Team All-Jayhawk Conference and a First-Team All-Region honoree. Milliken had a single-game high of 32 points and eight three-pointers, both on Jan. 19 at Independence CC. He was named the nation's No. 39 junior college prospect by the website jucorecruiting.com.
Tommy DeSalme, Milliken's coach at Cowley County, was just as excited about the prospects of standout guard. "He is as good a basketball player as I've coached. He is a gifted scorer in a lot of ways. He was a First-Team All-Region as a freshman running ball-screen offense and his mid-range game was the best thing about it. After a summer of working on it, we went to motion-style offense and he shot 42% from "3". He can score in all different ways, and is an unreal athlete who makes it look easy with the things he can do athletically. God gifted him in a lot of ways and he's worked hard to become a great shooter. He is the total package on the basketball court."
Creighton finished 28-8 last season, reaching the third round of the NCAA Tournament for a second straight campaign. The Bluejays will return three starters for next season, and joins the BIG EAST Conference on July 1, 2013. Milliken will join Devin Brooks, Zach Hanson, Darian Harris and Toby Hegner as newcomers to next year's Bluejay squad.