HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Veteran, coach, a man doing it all for the kids and the love of the game. This month's Neighborhood Hero, Ronald Miller, has paved the way for many student-athletes here in the Valley and beyond in both their college and professional athletic careers with his app Ticket2Greatness.
Miller saw a need and created a solution. "We know that the stats are out there, you know, less than 2% of players are gonna go pro, and so what about those remaining 98%? What's going to happen to them? And so, my focus on those, to help kids get to the next level, but it's also to make sure that we are keeping a stronghold on that 98%."
Rebecca Collett nominated Ronald Miller as April's Neighborhood Hero. She says, "I just was so impressed and so admired the work that he was doing and why he was doing it. And, and, and, you know, just providing this opportunity for students is just so powerful."
So why did Miller decide to create Ticket2Greatness? He explains, "I chose to create Ticket2Greatness because I wanted to have a solid foundation for players to be able to, or student-athletes, to be able to get scouted and recruited to play at the next level. I wanted to be able to also create with my app, I wanted to be able to create an opportunity for high school coaches, college coaches, as well as these athletes to be able to fulfill the gap that's currently out there right now within the market."
Collett adds, "He saw a need. He saw an area where something had to be done, and he did it. It's one thing to armchair quarterback, you know, sitting at home and then talking about what needs to happen and what needs to change and what opportunities there should be. It's a whole 'nother one to identify it, and then do something about it, and I think that's what makes him a hero to me."
Miller shared a personal story of one of the first times he guided a student-athlete in the right direction. His testimony speaks volumes to the importance of what this neighborhood hero is aiming to do.
Miller shares, "When I was just starting out, retiring from the Air Force out in Mississippi, there was a young man, a senior in high school. This senior high school was a gifted basketball player like he had it all. He was the top athlete in the school, to top athlete within the city, and so when I got to this young man he came to me, he called me coach, everyone called me coach, he said, 'Coach, can you help me get to college? Get seen?' He was a senior, hit all the accolades but he still wasn't noticed. Right? No one, no school noticed him. So, I say 'yeah,' and so we started talking. I just started asking him questions. Okay, what is your GPA? He said 'my GPA is 2.3'... that's not the greatest but, you know... we'll see what we can do. I said, 'Have you taken your ACT/SAT? And he said something to me that stuck... he said, 'What is an ACT test?', and as a senior in high school, that should never be the case. And so from then on, that's how Ticket2Greatness was really born, to be able to do so something for those kids."
RELATED: Nominate a Neighborhood Hero