Eddie Miles, ’63, is a Seattle University basketball legend. Known as “The Man with the Golden Arm” for his shooting prowess, he was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the first-round of the 1963 National Basketball Association draft. His successful NBA career included time with the Baltimore Bullets and the New York Knicks. In 2011, Miles was inducted into the Seattle University Athletics Hall of Fame, alongside Seattle U basketball greats Elgin Baylor and Eddie and Johnny O’Brien.
“It is interesting to note that of all the basketball players drafted into the NBA in 1963, there are only two who scored more points than Eddie Miles,” says John Ruffo, ’65. “And Eddie had the highest lifetime shooting percentage.”
After graduating from high school in North Little Rock, AR, where Miles led his team to four consecutive state championship titles and was twice named All-American, he was recruited by 50 colleges. An Elgin Baylor fan since childhood, he chose Seattle U to follow in the footsteps of his idol.
“When I graduated high school, I had a lot of scholarship offers, but I couldn’t think of going anywhere but Seattle U because that’s where Elgin went,” says Miles.
Miles was the university’s leading scorer for three consecutive seasons, each of which his team qualified for the NCAA basketball tournament. As a senior, he contributed 697 points and ranked seventh in the nation for scoring. That’s when the Detroit Pistons came calling.
“The NBA draft wasn’t as sophisticated in 1963 as it is today,” he recalls. “I was in class and someone came in and told me I’d been drafted by the Pistons. I was the fourth pick in the first round.”
The highlight of nine seasons in the pros was his selection to the 1966 NBA All-Star game, where Miles led his West team in scoring. His time in the NBA was cut short when a ruptured Achilles tendon ended his career in 1972.
After basketball Miles went into the private sector where he utilized his accounting degree. In 1978 college hoops reentered his life briefly when he returned to Seattle U for a yearlong stint as varsity assistant for men’s basketball.
Miles gives generously of his time, building future stars by working with students as a private basketball trainer through his organization, Drills and Skills, and as a math tutor.
Asked what advice he could offer today's student athletes, Miles says, "Focus on your academic careers. If you can't pass in the classroom, you can’t pass on the court. You have to buckle down in school. If you happen to go pro, that’s a bonus.”