Paul McMillan IV becomes 30th player in OHSAA boys basketball history to reach 2,200 points
After crossing the 2,000 career point milestone on Dec. 4, it didn't take Woodward guard Paul McMillan IV long to reach his next milestone.
McMillan became the 30th player in OHSAA boys basketball history to reach 2,200 career points Wednesday, scoring 28 as Woodward dismantled Toledo Rogers, 80-39 in the final game of the Bettis Bulldog Classic at Woodward.
"I was very grateful and humbled about it," McMillan said. "For me, when I accomplish certain things and do certain things, it's always keep going. So it's not like, 'Oh, I did this, I'm gonna stop.' I just keep going."
McMillan attributed that humble attitude and drive to accomplish the next thing from his parents, who he said always worked hard and put in a ton of work to take care of the family.
"Probably my parents; my mom and dad. Seeing them wake up early every day and coming home late and putting in a lot of hours to take care of me and my little sister every day, so probably my parents" McMillan said of what motivates him to be at his best.
McMillan needed 18 points in the game to reach the 2,200 mark. With the way he's been scoring this season, it's not surprising McMillan reached that milestone before the fourth quarter even arrived.
McMillan scored 15 in the first half alone and joined the OHSAA record books with a 3-pointer with just over four minutes to go in the third quarter.
With his 28 points, McMillan now sits at 2,210 career points and is 29th on the list of OHSAA's all-time points leaders in boys basketball. He passed Mike Cross of Franklin Monroe, who played from 1970-1974.
Some other names on that list include LeBron James, Hall of Famer Jerry Lucas, Luke Kennard and more. McMillan said his goal is to pass James because that's his favorite player.
"It's definitely a blessing," McMillan said. "I'm definitely grateful to be in the same conversation as them, especially LeBron James. That's my favorite player. That's been my favorite player growing up, and like I said, I just want to keep going.
"The ultimate goal is to pass LeBron."
Now, McMillan needs 24 points to move up three more spots on that list and pass Gary Kesler, Nathan Lessing and Jerry Legge.
McMillan is currently averaging 29.4 points per game and has yet to score fewer than 20 points this season, so he could pass those aforementioned players in Woodward's next game.
The motivation to score at such a frequent pace is something McMillan said he got from watching his brother play and seeing him play with some of the players McMillan is still trying to pass on that career scoring list.
"I'd have to say growing up, watching my brother play, watching him play with King James and watching him play with Luke Kennard and A.J. Harris and Kyle (Ahrens), and those guys" McMillan said. "Especially watching Luke Kennard in his high school years and doing the things he did while he was in high school. It definitely motivated me and I wanted to do the same things."
From Woodward Athletic Director Jabreel Moton's perspective, seeing McMillan's game evolve over the years has been a testament to McMillan's humility and determination to keep improving his game.
"It's a huge thing to be able to witness," Moton said. "You know, you see all the people on that list and those names, and you've seen those things happen from afar. You know what LeBron did and you know what Luke Kennard – you know what a lot of the people on that list have done. But to actually be a witness to not just this moment but even before.
"You know, a lot of people don't know I helped coach All-Ohio Red when (McMillan) was a little kid. And now he's a young man that has maturity, just so humble. And even in everything he's accomplished, as major as it's been, he's never really lost sight of just staying true to himself."
Woodward is off to an 8-1 start this season, and McMillan will continue his pursuit of James' career scoring total when the Bulldogs visit Dunbar on Jan. 8. He needs 437 points reach his goal of pass in James, who is sixth on the state's career scoring list.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Paul McMillan IV joins OHSAA record books with 2,200 career points