CINCINNATI — The decision on whether to remain in the NBA Draft wasn't easy earlier this summer, but Miles "Deuce" McBride is ready for the next step in his basketball journey.
"His market is improving daily," Moeller basketball coach Carl Kremer said Monday. "From what I can tell. I truly believe he is going to be a first-round pick. His original draft grade was to be in the upper part of the second round, an early second-round pick, but I think that has improved. Again, nothing really matters until (teams) actually make their picks and Deuce understands that, too."
McBride, who won back-to-back Division I state titles at Moeller in 2018 and 2019, declared for the NBA Draft April 2 after an excellent second season at West Virginia.
He was an All-Big 12 Conference second team selection for the Mountaineers this past season. He averaged 15.9 points, 4.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.9 steals in helping the Mountaineers to the round of 32 teams in the NCAA Tournament.
"I'm watching him in the NBA (draft combine)," Kremer said. "Miles was a great shooter for us. I think an underrated shooter. He became a good shooter. But I'm watching him at the (combine) and he's not even hitting the rim; it's just swish after swish. Whatever environment you put him into he's able to rise up to that and actually exceed it."
McBride, listed as 6 feet 2 inches tall at West Virginia, has a wingspan measured at 6 feet 9, Kremer said.
Kremer received phone calls from NBA teams going back to this past winter. He has discussed McBride's "unflappable maturity" and competitiveness on the court.
"I think if you lit any more fire underneath of Deuce you'd have a forest fire," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said during the NCAA Tournament in March. "Deuce doesn't need lit up. He's a guy who comes in every day and works. He's a guy who spends countless hours on his own working on his game."
That work ethic is nothing new to McBride, who continues to prepare for the draft after announcing his intention to leave West Virginia July 3. Mark Bartelstein, of Priority Sports, is McBride's agent.
While mock drafts vary, the sense from those close to McBride is the range in which he could be selected is very favorable.
"The most important was that last feedback that he got back after the combine which was great saying anywhere between 20 and 35 which is a nice spot to be in," said Walt McBride, Miles' father, a former Xavier University player.
Regardless of which team may select Miles McBride, he's had a great deal of support from family, coaches and friends this spring and summer leading up to this opportunity.
His family connected with former Moeller teammate and current NBA player Jaxson Hayes' parents, Jonathan and Kristi.
Miles was also able to speak on the phone with five-time NBA champion Ron Harper about life in the NBA.
Walt and Kim, Miles' parents, along with his elder brother Trey (professional basketball player in Serbia) and younger sister Kristen (WVU freshman), met as a family regarding Miles' decision.
Kim McBride said the family believes this is an "opportunity of a lifetime" for Miles.
"We're just incredibly proud of the diligence that he has put in," Kim said. "The hard work. Just a lot of sacrifice of making the right choices. 'Am I going to work out or am I going to do this?' He always said, 'I'm going to get it in.' So just extremely proud."
Walt and Kim McBride said Huggins and the Mountaineers coaching staff were very supportive of Miles' decision to remain in the draft.
"He feels that this is the right time for him to go," Walt McBride said. "He is going to miss playing for Huggs and all. They had a nice conversation. Huggs understood, but Huggs wanted him to make the best decision. Don't make the decision for anyone else."
For those who know McBride the most, the difficult part may be the anticipation leading up to the draft the night of July 29.
"I'm confident he will do well," Kremer said. "He's just a special kid. He's an easy one to root for."