With an overhauled roster, many new faces are expected to become major contributors for the Binghamton men’s basketball team this year. One of them is freshman guard Brenton Mills. The Texas native was a three-time letter winner at Allen High School in Allen, Texas.
“I’m pretty excited,” Mills said. “I never thought I’d be here playing for a D-I college basketball team, so I’m just trying to make the most of my opportunity and get to it.”
During the last year of his high school career, Mills averaged 16 points, six rebounds and three assists. This type of consistent play allowed Mills to lead his team to a 35-5 record and a state 6A championship that year.
“I would say the best moment for me was winning state my senior year with my friends,” Mills said. “Because we were all seniors basically. So just winning and finishing out strong the last season was pretty fun.”
Additionally, he was named to the all-district team twice in high school. Still, the college game is very different, and Mills has been adapting throughout the last few months.
“[There is] way more physicality at the college level,” Mills said. “The speed is way quicker and faster. But I think transitioning-wise, it’s been going pretty well.”
Like many student-athletes at Binghamton, Mills has a history of being an strong student as well, graduating in the top 20 percent of his class. He also played football for a brief period, though he eventually abandoned this interest to hone his basketball skills — a big decision, given the culture of football in his home state.
“I quit my freshman year just to focus on basketball,” Mills said. “Football in Texas is really big. It’s like religion down there. Everybody’s focused on football, there’s a lot of money put into it. It was really fun down there.”
Since Mills is a freshman, it has yet to be determined exactly what role he will have on the team. A lot can change while transitioning to the college level, but Mills said he believes he brings important talents to the team as a player.
“My game is really a lot of just dribble-drive catch and shoot, and just trying to play-make for others,” Mills said. “[I’ve been working on] really just trying to be consistent with my shot, being stronger on defense, being more vocal and trying to be a leader for this team … I think my role is to bring a good presence on defense, trying to go at the best players, trying to get stops and also bring some scoring as well to help [sophomore guard] Sam [Sessoms].”
Being from Texas, Mills is a long way from his hometown, but said he has been adjusting to the distance and has connected with associate head coach Bryan Goodman, a native of nearby Oklahoma.
As a young player on a young team, Mills is expected to play significant minutes for the team this season. He will have to bring that same enthusiasm, hard work and effort level he displayed as a high school player to contribute to the Bearcats in 2019-20.