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Woodward basketball standout Paul McMillan IV named to the MaxPreps Sophomore All-American team

Posted at 11:26 AM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 11:42:22-04

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Paul McMillan IV is grateful for the national recognition, but he's still not satisfied.

The Woodward sophomore 6-foot-2-inch tall standout point guard was named a MaxPreps 2019-20 Sophomore All-American honorable mention selection Wednesday.

McMillan is one of only two Ohio players on the entire MaxPreps list. Western Reserve Academy (Hudson) guard Chris Livingston is on the first team.

"I want first team," McMillan told WCPO Thursday morning. "I got to keep working and I got to keep striving for better."

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Woodward head coach Jarelle Redden isn't surprised by McMillan's mindset. Redden said McMillan's leadership set a tone all season.

"I thought it was outstanding," Redden said.

McMillan averaged 31.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.2 steals for the Bulldogs (13-11) this past season. He shot 55.5 percent from the field including 43.4 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. He also shot 80.6 percent from the free-throw line.

McMillan, an Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Division II first-team all-state selection and MaxPreps All-Ohio selection, has scholarship offers from programs that include the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, University of Mississippi, University of Tennessee at Martin and the University of Dayton.

McMillan, a four-star recruit, is rated Ohio's No. 2 player overall in the 2022 class and the nation's No. 9 point guard in his class by 247 Sports.

McMillan has also received interest from programs that include Kentucky, Purdue, Indiana, Louisville, Ohio State, West Virginia, Missouri and Loyola University Chicago.

Yet, for all the basketball statistics and recruiting attention McMillan has earned, he is most proud of how he helped change the culture around the Woodward program from three wins in 2018-19 to 13 wins this past season.

"His presence and his work ethic on and off the floor" made a significant impact, Redden said.

That work ethic continues this week for McMillan, who works out at his family's Colerain Township home during this coronavirus outbreak when a stay-at-home order is in effect.

He works on the outdoor court and uses a Vertimax and shooting machine along with weightlifting equipment.

McMillan also enjoys watching video highlights and taking lessons from Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Michael Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant.

Everything is geared towards improvement of his own game.

"He's really not missing a beat," said Woodward assistant coach Paul McMillan III, who is Paul's father.

McMillan III is proud of how his son continues to persevere. He said the MaxPreps national recognition continues to motivate the younger McMillan.

"To be recognized as one of the best players in the country - that's always a big deal," McMillan III said. "Obviously we consider it an honor to be on the honorable mention or to make any team. Seeing that there is thousands of basketball players around the country - it's a great accomplishment. It's something to look at and just want to get back in the gym."

McMillan IV also connects with Redden on Zoom multiple times during the week. Redden has challenged his players to read a handful of books about life and how it can relate to basketball while continuing their studies and workouts.

"Right now it's them understanding what's going on and having a Plan B and be able to work while in a crisis," Redden said.

McMillan IV, who carries a 4.0 grade-point average (5.0 weighted GPA), has a solid understanding of that as a sophomore.

"I know we can't do stuff," McMillan IV said. "I know we can't play basketball like that. But, I can still see what I did from this past season and what I need to work on and what I need to work on as a person. So there is always something to get better at."