Summer 2024

ONE COACH: Toronto Raptors C.J. Miles credits high school coach for NBA career

NBA star C.J. Miles is entering his 12th season in the NBA.

In the offseason he signed a three-year deal with the Toronto Raptors. Last season, the sharpshooter made a career-high 41-percent of his 3-pointers from the field with the Indiana Pacers.

Before having success on a NBA court, Miles played high school basketball at Skyline High School in Dallas. As a highly recruited prospect, Miles credits his high school coach for helping him grow on and off the court.

“When I got to high school, my coach, J.D. Mayo, was one of the greatest men who I’ve ever met,” Miles said to Sports Spectrum. “I’m so grateful that I was able to play for him for four years. He and his minister were a huge part of why our basketball team was the way it was. They helped us in so many ways, including donating or raising money for our program to give us things we normally wouldn’t have.”

Miles spoke about how coach Mayo also taught him how to be a disciplined athlete, especially making sure that he was at least 15 minutes early to practice, or he was late.

“In high school I would think, ‘Why do I have to be at practice 15 minutes early in order to not be late?’ He taught us hard work and discipline but he also made sure we knew what was the most important thing in life,” Miles said.

The biggest impact coach Mayo made was daily displaying his love for Jesus, which would stick with Miles.

“Without forcing anyone to, he lead our team in prayer before every game,” Miles said. “Getting to know him — a strong believer in Christ — was like having an extension of my father on the court. I don’t think I really appreciated everything he did for me until I was gone.”

Miles declared for the 2005 NBA Draft after he finished high school. He was drafted in the 2nd round by the Utah Jazz.

The success from Miles shows the impact a coach can have on an athlete’s life. OneCoach is honoring coaches who have made a similar impact with the OneCoach Wall of Honor.

ONECoach is now part of The Sports Spectrum Network. To honor your coach, visit OneCoach Wall of Honor page.