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Basketballs leading mentor, former NBA coach McMillan to headline ARHS banquet


AMHERST - Athletic achievement will be front and centre tonight when Amherst Regional High School hosts its annual sports awards banquet at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

AMHERST - Athletic achievement will be front and centre tonight when Amherst Regional High School hosts its annual sports awards banquet at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

A large number of athletes and teams had stellar years this past season and those accomplishments will translate into accolades from coaches, teachers, peers and the community.

A different format is being used this year as the awards night will be an actual banquet that gets underway with a meal at 7 p.m.

The event will also feature one of the game of basketball's best all-around teachers in Ian McMillan as keynote speaker.

McMillan has a storied history in the game that started as a student at Lockeport High School. It was there he got his first taste of success as his team won a provincial championship.

He continued on to nearby Acadia University where he played in the inaugural CIAU championship game and followed that up with a berth in his second year. His Acadia squad lost both games.

MacMillan went on to teach for 30 years and devoted all of his free time coaching players from the grassroots level to the NBA. His coaching career began at the high school level in Lockeport, later moving to Windsor and Horton where he captured 10 provincial championships.

In 1976, he was selected as the Canadian High School Coach of the year

Two years later, in 1978-79, he was assistant coach for the Houston Rockets where he had an opportunity to be involved with players like Moses Malone, Rick Barry, Calvin Murphy and other NBA stars who have since been inducted into the NBA's Hall of Fame

The next season, in 1980, he took his Acadia team to the CIAU championships and lost to Victoria in the final. Despite the loss he was selected CIAU coach of the year

Professional basketball was still in his blood so, in 1992, McMillan was charged with the responsibility of the setting up and coaching of the Halifax Windjammers, which proved a huge success in Halifax

Since then he has coached a number of Nova Scotia provincial teams and continues to coach at the high school level at Horton High School with Bev Greenlaw.

Over the years, McMillan has coached with a number of celebrated coaches such as Bill Harris, Thomas Nisseulke, Stu Aberdeen, Bev Greenlaw and Roger Caulfield

His talents have been recognized far and wide and is considered by his peers to be one of the best shooting coaches in Canada.

McMillan often speaks fondly of some of his greatest players and their shared experiences, such as Peter Morris, Don Ehler and Ted Upshaw, all greats at Acadia University.



smcneish@amherstdaily.com

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