One of the best boys basketball teams on the Gulf Coast belongs to Pascagoula High school and, subsequently, one of the best players on the Gulf Coast is on that team.
Junior standout Dorian McMillian is a leader for the Panthers on and off the court and it all stems from his love of the game.
“I’ve been playing basketball since I was like four because at first, I wasn’t really a basketball kid…I was a football kid. My mom, she had this thing where we had to play two sports while we grew up, and I went to go play basketball and ever since then I fell in love with it.”
The game of basketball was truly love at first sight for Pascagoula’s Dorian McMillian. The junior swingman says he’s obsessed with every part of the sport and cherishes the time he spends both on and off the hardwood. “I’d say on the court it’s just seeing everyone happy on the team and getting everyone involved. Off the court it’s getting recognized around the community and stuff outside the state.”
Pascagoula Head Boys Basketball Coach Lorenzo Wright says McMillian is a fan favorite in the Panther community, especially when it comes to the next generation. “They love to come out and watch him play because he’s so athletic on the court and he’s just a great kid so the kids are kind of drawn to him.”
But McMillian says he wouldn’t be the person or athlete he is today without the other guys in the huddle. “Teammates… having the teammates I have, I’ve been around them since I was like in diapers, so we all grew together and being able to see each other grow and play with each other every day, it’s fun and our dreams are coming true.”
Having been on varsity since his freshman year, McMillan is starting to exemplify the true meaning of what it means to be a student-athlete. Coach Wright said, “I’ve had him for three years now and the last three years have been amazing. He has grown each year as a student and also as an athlete. He’s great in the classroom, and he’s even better on the basketball court.”
Just last week, McMillian got some much deserved recognition as a MAC North-South All Star game selection for classes 6A, 5A, and 4A. “It feels like the work is finally paying off. The hard work, the long hours, the long nights and early mornings are paying off.”
McMillian is only a junior and he doesn’t plan on letting up the rim anytime soon. Assistant Basketball Coach Lakia Westerfield said, “That’s the beauty of it, is that he’s not content, you know, he still wants to get better. He comes in here every day. He works hard. You never have to question his efforts, never have to question his intensity, and that’s what you want out of everybody, and it definitely helps when it’s coming from one of your top guys so that definitely helps.”
McMillian doesn’t have any offers yet, but college coaches are certainly starting to take notice. His dream is to play at the next level and then the next level after that and then maybe one day he can say ‘momma, I made it.’ “The dream is to go to the next level, be one and done, and then after that go to the league and make momma proud. She’s had a big impact on me because she’s been there from the start, and she always encouraged me to be more than a basketball player.”
McMillian and the Panthers are back in action Friday for a district game at D’Iberville.