Sawyer Brown lead singer Mark Miller recently joined Marty Smith on the most recent episode of the Outsider podcast, “The Road You Leave Behind.”
Miller became the only multimillion-selling recording artist ever to sign a pro sports contract at 39-years-old. He signed as a backup point guard for the Continental Basketball Association’s Fort Wayne Fury in Indiana. A former college basketball player, Miller played at the University of Central Florida in 1978-79.
“I always say I’m a better basketball player than I am anything else,” Miller states. “That’s always been my passion and my love and still is to this day.”
Smith asks Miller about the kinds of conversations he used to have with Indiana legend Damon Bailey. He also notes, for those who might not be aware, that Damon Bailey is widely regarded as the most famous high school basketball player to ever lace them up.
Watch part of the interview below:
Mark Miller Says That Damon Bailey is the Best Player He’s Ever Played With
To illustrate just how amazing Bailey was on the basketball court, Miller recalled a conversation he had with his close friend Eric Montross. Montross was a star player for Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, where he led them to a state title. He then went on to North Carolina, playing there for four seasons and leading the Tar Heels to a national championship as well. And in 1994, the Boston Celtics made Montross the No. 9 overall pick in the NBA Draft.
“Eric is a really close friend of mine. Eric and Damon, of course, grew up in Indiana and they actually played on an AAU team together,” Miller explains. “Can you imagine that? An AAU team with Damon and Eric? I don’t think they lost a game.”
Smith responds quickly saying, “No. That’s not even fair.”
During his senior season, Bailey led his Bedford North Lawrence team to a state title. As a result, he was named Indiana Mr. Basketball, earned McDonald’s All-American honors, and was tabbed the 1990 consensus National Player of the Year. Bailey finished his high school career scoring 3,134 points, a record that still stands today.
However, that same year, Montross was the runner up for the Indiana Mr. Basketball award. Miller recalls asking Montross if Bailey should have won the award over him.
“Now I said to Eric, ‘should Damon have really won Mr. Basketball?” Miller recalls. “He said ‘oh, absolutely. Mark, he’s the best high school basketball player of all-time. I was runner up and really I wasn’t even close — and it shouldn’t have been close.”
That’s how much credit Montross gave Bailey as a high school basketball player.
Furthermore, Mark Miller says he also played with Bailey, as well as some of the best NBA players in history.
“I’ve played with everybody — John Stockton, Karl Malone — I’ve played games with every kind of pro there is,” Miller says. “But the best basketball player to the bone that I’ve ever played with is Damon Bailey.”