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With David Miner

Q & A

March 11, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

By the time Monday rolled around, Saturday's win that propelled South Hagerstown into the Class 2A state semifinals had been put in the past. The Rebels started the new work week with preparations for Lansdowne, their semifinal opponent Friday at the University of Maryland's Comcast Center.

Coach Bob Starkey put his 23-2 squad through a light one-hour practice session after the players loosened up on their own.

As Washington County's new public schools scoring career scoring king with 1,800 points, David Miner was right there, hitting shots from both sides of the arc. He set a new single-game school scoring record with 54 points, scored 50 points in three other games and is averaging 34.8 points per game in his senior season.

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Starkey has said Miner "works just as hard in practice." True to his coach's word, Miner's intensity level increased once Starkey took over practice Monday.

Miner has been under intense pressure during his senior basketball season as he worked toward the county scoring record. He's been closely watched by the public on and off the athletic field throughout his career.

Miner sat down for a one-on-one conversation following Monday's workout. His answers were brief and he comes across as a courteous, but shy, individual.

Question: When you wake up each morning, what are your thoughts for the day?

Answer: I think whether it is going to be a long day or not. If I've got a game I think about that and if I don't I think about school. School is first so I think about keeping my grades up. There are things I want to get done but school is first.

Q: What drives your competitive nature?

A: Working hard on the basketball court, baseball or football field. Right now, I know what I'm all about. I'm really not scared of anything as long as I work hard.

Q: When you were young did you have this drive?

A: No, I really didn't have it yet. I was working on it. When I came to high school it kind of just came to me and I decided to work on it. I think it really happened the first varsity football game I played my junior year against DuVal.

Q: How do you perceive your image?

A: (After some hesitation) I don't know, I really can't say. People say different things ... I can only judge myself ... I think I'm down to earth with everybody, on the same level. I don't think I am above anybody. I think I've got a good image. My teammates tell me so.

Q: At the beginning of the season you played the part of an angry person. Where did that come from?

A: I just think it came from bad advice. I think it came this year from a bad football season.

Q: During the last part of the season you seem to have become more grown up. What changed?

A: It's from having a good season in basketball. There's no reason to be angry.

Q: Is your anger or satisfaction, on or off the field, driven by athletics?

A: It's hard to say. It probably is by now.

Q: If you were watching yourself play, what would you have to say about that player?

A: I'd probably say he is a good player.

Q: Now, David ... you're averaging 34.8 points per game and you would only say 'good?'

A: (Smiling) Yeah, a good player that works hard.

Q: How much does your on-court persona match your off-court personality?

A: I'm two different people. On the court I'm not shy. On the court I try to work hard like they do in the NBA. Otherwise, I'm just a teenager being with my friends and hanging out with everybody.

Q: Part of your on-court persona, there are times when you'll show anger with a teammate. Is that because you're upset with them or just your nature when things are not going right?

A: I think I am trying to help them out. They understand that. They tell me 'good job for helping me out.' They know I'm not mad at them, I'm just trying to help them and that's the way I do it.

Q: How much weight does the perception of the public influence you?

A: I want the community to understand that South is not a bad school. The school programs and sports programs are real good. So that's what I want to show the public.

Q: What is your favorite sport that you play, and can you move to the next level in a particular sport?

A: Basketball is my favorite, but baseball is right up there with basketball.

Q: Did you dream of playing professional sports as a young kid?

A: Oh yeah, I can remember joking around saying I'd be big one day. Now, here it is five, six years later. My favorite athlete then was Anfernee Hardaway and I wanted to be like him.

Q: Can your level of play continue on to the baseball field?

A: Oh yeah, we should have a good team again just like basketball. I think it's going to be a good season.

Q: Is it a season you are looking forward to?

A: Yes, I would say so.

Q: What are your immediate goals?

A: First of all is to win the state basketball championship. Off the court, working on college or whatever might come in the (baseball) draft.

Q: What are your future goals, 5 years and beyond?

A: I want to be playing major league baseball or maybe even playing NBA basketball.

Q: What is the importance to you of holding records?

A: It's real important to me. I had to bring (the county scoring record) back to South High. I don't think about it now that it's over. I would think about it before a game, but now I just want to focus in winning a state championship.

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