Elijah Miller named AUS MVP as UPEI basketball teams advance to finals
It’s been a stellar week for UPEI Basketball Panthers Elijah Miller.
The third-year point guard was just named MVP of the Atlantic University Sports (AUS) basketball league and a first-team All-Star.
Miller, a 25-year-old business student from Rexdale, Ontario, also just broke a 30-year UPEI record for most assists in a single season.
“Honestly, I didn’t know at that moment that I passed it,” he said. “A couple of guys on the bench told me I was going to break it and then I let out a little yell, a yell of delight that I had passed. I’m very grateful.”
The person who held that record? His own head coach, Darrell Glenn.
Glenn was a point guard for UPEI in the early 1990s, played five years with the Panthers and had a record 118 assists in the 1992-93 season.
Last weekend, in a game against Memorial University Sea-Hawks, Miller broke it when he made his 120th pass in a single season.
“It’s kind of a cool thing. It’s like a parent watching your son do better than you and it’s kind of what you want,” Glenn said of the new record.
“That’s why I’m happy for him. And you know, hopefully he’s back next year and can beat that record and continue to leave a legacy for the next generation of players.”
Off to Halifax for the finale
Miller and his team are chasing the AUS Championship this weekend in Nova Scotia. They finished second in the league this year, which gets them a ticket straight to Saturday night’s semi-finals at the Scotiabank Center in Halifax.
Last year the men’s Panthers made it to the championship game and ended up losing to Dalhousie. This year Glenn and his team have their sights set on gold.
I am very confident that they will do their best. And whatever happens after that, we’ll let the basketball gods decide. – Darrell Glenn
“I’m excited,” said the coach. “I’m very process oriented and a little bit nervous, but I really feel like our guys are in a situation now where they’ve committed, they’ve been really, really disciplined in their work and now it’s just like, ‘Can we put together a nice weekend?’
“I am very confident that they will compete to the best of their ability. And whatever happens after that, we’ll let the basketball gods decide.”
For Miller, it’s all about continuing the tradition of Panther Pride.
“I proudly wear the green and white,” he said. “I want to play hard and represent the university proudly. It’s going to be an amazing game because I know our fans will be there too. So I just don’t want to disappoint them.”
Women coach also honored
On the women’s side, UPEI head coach Matt Gamblin was named AUS Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.
Gamblin is in his fifth year on the UPEI women’s team and is now the Atlantic Conference nominee for U SPORTS Coach of the Year honors.
UPEI’s Lauren Rainford, a third-year student from Toronto, was named to the women’s first team All-Stars, and Karla Yepez, a fifth-year student from Quito, Ecuador, was named to the second team.
The university women’s team will play Cape Breton in the AUS Quarterfinals on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m.
All of the weekend’s games will be streamed live on the AUS TV website.
Disclosure Notice: In addition to being a CBC journalist, the author of this article is also the mother of a member of the UPEI men’s basketball team.