In the interest of west coast college basketball please allow myself to get a little provincial for a short time today. For informational purposes, I do live in Oregon.
Over the past several months in the state of Oregon, several prominent people and one really prominent Oregon business, the Portland Trailblazers have made a strong push and I might add rightfully so, to get legendary Blazer broadcaster Bill Schonley into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Mr. Schonley is in the running this year for the Curt Gowdy Award, which annually selects a sportscaster for induction into the most prestigious honor anyone involved in the game of basketball can receive, hall of fame induction.
While Schonley would be a great choice, what many Oregonians and basketball people alike have missed, is that there is an Oregonian who deserves to be in the basketball hall of fame, ahead of Bill Schonley.
His name is DANNY MILES. Back in May, I documented Coach Miles history as basketball coach at Oregon Institute of Technology, in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Just a little recap, Mr. Miles will begin his 41st season this year coaching the Owls. He is second all time in career wins for all college basketball coaches at 937. His OIT team won the NAIA national championship in both 2004 and 2008. His teams at OIT have 10 times won 30 games and 21 times have won 25 games. Miles is a member of both the NAIA and Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.
Mr. Miles will more than likely never be pushed by the national media to become a hall of fame member, he might not even get the support of the Oregon media or prominent people in the state, but he does have my support and many others who KNOW the game of basketball.
Being a coach in a small town, at small school and being NAIA, as compared to NCAA, should not hinder a person from being in the basketball hall of fame. It is the person's record that should count and Coach Miles' record passes all the smell tests to become a hall of fame inductee, which quite frankly, I should not even have to be writing about, it should have happened by now. I challenge anyone to take a look at the list of basketball hall of fame inductees and dispute my claim.
As I have mentioned before, if Miles were on the east coast he would be revered, out here on the west coast he just keeps on winning basketball games and flies under the radar.
So for all the Oregonians and all basketball people, it is great you are thinking of Bill Schonley, but the push should have been Danny Miles first, Bill Schonley second, when it comes to being a deserving member of the basketball hall of fame.
And while this might seem like an Oregon issue, it is not. It is an issue for all people who love basketball, the hall of fame is such an honor and deserving people like Danny Miles should never be FORGOTTEN.
Coach Miles for people who know your history and know about you, everyday you are a hall of famer, let's just make this official nationally.