CINCINNATI — Woodward High School senior point guard Paul McMillan IV announced Thursday afternoon he has made a commitment to play college basketball at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
NJIT is an NCAA Division men's basketball program in the America East Conference.
"When I just went up there on my visit a couple weeks ago I just felt like I was home," McMillan said. "They just welcomed me. I actually worked out with one of the kids that was on the team and he told all about it - like the opportunities and the things like that. Not even from a basketball standpoint but from an academic standpoint."
McMillan, the Gatorade Ohio Boys Basketball Player of the Year and the state's No. 6 boys basketball scorer all-time, narrowed his choices to eight schools earlier this week. NJIT emerged as the best opportunity for McMillan.
"It's definitely a shocker," he said. "A lot of people thought I was going to go to a school like Purdue or a Louisville or Penn State - things like that - things like that. But, like I said things changed up and this was the best for me."
McMillan's family acknowledged the potential for a couple of name, image and likeness (NIL) deals, too.
"I'm going to hold that," McMillan said. "I want that to be a surprise."
He also considered California State University, Northridge (Cal State Northridge), Cleveland State University, Kansas State University, Ball State University, University of Pennsylvania (Penn), Loyola Marymount University and Northeastern University.
McMillan plans to study business and marketing at NJIT with future aspirations of getting into real estate beside the NBA. He graduated Wednesday night from Woodward with a 4.0 grade-point average and was named co-valedictorian.
McMillan visited NJIT a few weeks ago and enjoyed the Newark campus.
"It's a big market, big city right there by New York," McMillan said. "A lot of NBA teams right there. Great shopping stores, just great people. It's just different out there."
A Division II state co-player of the year, McMillan led Woodward (23-4) to the Division II regional final in March — it was Woodward's first regional final appearance since 1990.
McMillan averaged 27 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in his senior year.
He completed his memorable high school career with 2,658 career points, finishing sixth on the Ohio High School Athletic Association's all-time career boys basketball points list ahead of LeBron James and several other notable names during the postseason tournament this winter.
A lot of mid-major programs entered the recruiting process during the tournament including Virginia Commonwealth University, Murray State, College of Charleston, Ball State and others.
"We felt like this was the best for him to be able to Paul McMillan so that's pretty much how the New Jersey thing came about," Woodward coach Jarelle Redden said.
McMillan is believed to be the first high school basketball player in Cincinnati Public Schools history to surpass 2,000 career points, according to CPS Athletics Manager Josh Hardin.
McMillan was a three-time Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference player of the year. He is the first Gatorade boys basketball player of the year from Woodward.
McMillan feels grateful for the opportunity to play at Woodward while excelling academically and athletically.
"I've been extremely blessed to be able to change the program around, the culture around, the school around," he said.