Class will be back in session next Friday evening when the teacher meets pupil at Detrick Gymnasium on the campus of Central Connecticut State University. Alvernia University head men's basketball coach Mike Miller -the teacher-takes his team north to CCSU to face the Blue Devils under the direction of first-year head coach Donyell Marshall (6'6''-F)-the pupil-at CCSU on Friday, November 4, at 7:00 p.m. Marshall entered the role of pupil in the summer after his ninth grade year at Reading High. He developed into the key part of Miller's first team at Reading starting in the 1988-89 season. "I got the job in the summer he was going into 10th grade," said Miller of his start at Reading High. "My first trip to meet him, he was in the Glenside Projects and he had a Charles Barkley shirt on. So I grabbed him and said 'hey, we're going to have a summer league.' The first game is in Exeter and one of the first plays he has a dunk out of nowhere." Marshall was a member of the junior high team in eighth and ninth grades and didn't make the high school varsity team until his sophomore year of high school. "My first impression was we have a lot of work to do, but if you show up and put in the time you're going to be good in school and let's see how far basketball can take you," continued Miller. "That's what I always preached to him. Put in the time school wise and in basketball, and ever since then he has done that no matter what." Marshall's work started to pay off as a Berks County Champions, then as a McDonald's All-American and interest from college coaches as a top recruit in the nation. He decided on the University of Connecticut where his continued efforts paid off as an All-American at the college level and the fourth overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft. His NBA career spanned 15 seasons with eight different teams finishing at home in Philadelphia. "No matter what he's wanted to do, he has put in the work to get there," said Miller. "That's what I'm most proud of. And for him to first think of me, and Reading, and Alvernia, and for us to have the opportunity to play against him in his first college coaching game, that means an awful lot to me." Marshall was named the 10th head coach at CCSU on April 6, and shortly thereafter put in a call to Miller inviting him up to open the Blue Devils season in an exhibition. "I'm looking forward to coaching against Alvernia and Coach Miller and my son Marquis," said Marshall. "It will be kind of like the student going against the mentor and I am excited about that." Marquis Marshall (6'6''-F) transferred to Alvernia for his junior season and plays along side Miller's son Mike Miller , Jr. Continuing the family theme, Donyell Marshall's youngest son, Donyell, Jr. is a freshman forward for the Blue Devils. Following the exhibition, CCSU tips off the regular season the following Friday hosting Harford College. Alvernia's regular season opens on November 15 when the Crusaders host Wesley College. Courtesy of: alvernia.edu
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