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Charlotte Hornets: Charlottean Ian Miller helps christen new practice court

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/03/20/00/11zAl5.Em.138.jpeg|322
    Ricardo Arduengo - AP
    Ian Miller came off the bench to score 19 points against Michigan last November in Puerto Rico, but the Seminoles lost 82-80 in OT.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/03/20/00/11MNze.Em.138.jpeg|470
    Streeter Lecka - GETTY
    A 6-foot-3 guard, Ian Miller averaged 13.7 points and 28.4 minutes per game as a senior at FSU, both career bests.

On the day the new Hornets-themed practice-court resurfacing went public, it seemed appropriate a Charlottean with a love for the NBA was included in a predraft workout.

Ian Miller, the Florida State guard who played high school ball locally at United Faith Christian Academy, was one of six draft prospects working out on the new teal-and-purple layout. It was exciting and a little nerve-wracking for the 6-foot-3 guard.

“This was a dream come true,” said Miller, who averaged 13.7 points for the Seminoles as a senior last season. “Being raised in this basketball culture – of Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry, Larry Johnson – being able to stand up for your community and get some hometown love.”

Miller is projected as a possible second-rounder when the draft comes June 26. He got the call from his agent, Chicago-based Herb Rudoy, about 10 days ago that the Hornets wanted him in.

“That’s all I really wanted to hear – the Hornets,” Miller said. “I’m glad I could give them a good showing. I think I left a good impression, and hopefully they get in touch.”

Miller was a high-profile recruit when he chose Florida State. He didn’t star for the Seminoles, sharing time at the point with Devon Bookert, but he played on a team that won the ACC in 2012: “I got a ring,” Miller said. “Everybody likes winners.”

So what could he offer the hometown team?

“Someone who could come off the bench and really score,” Miller said. “Who’d be a good teammate and be relied on to take care of the ball and put out good vibes.”

All six of Tuesday’s candidates were guards who figure to be either second-round picks or undrafted free agents. Miller participated in a combine setting for several teams in Los Angeles recently, but this was his first invitation from an individual team.

“When I first got up here, the butterflies were rolling,” Miller said. “You’ve always wanted to be out on this stage, so now you want to do your best. I think I held it down and did pretty good.”

Miller sat out some time after his last college season while a stress fracture in one of his feet healed. He was cleared to start running about three weeks ago.

“I have all the basketball tools,” he said. “I just need to get focused and get in great conditioning.”

Notes: The Hornets now have a practice court to match the rebranding. There is a purple-and-teal honeycomb border around the playing surface, with one of the new logos painted at midcourt and block lettering along each baseline. Purple padding, with Hornets logos, covers the walls.

With the practice court done, the Hornets can now start resurfacing the game floor in the main bowl. It’s unclear how similar or different the main court look will be, relative to the practice court. …

Four current Hornets worked out after the predraft auditions Tuesday. Jeff Taylor and Cody Zeller were joined by centers Al Jefferson and Bismack Biyombo.

Jefferson is recovering from a plantar fascia injury that hobbled him in the playoff series against the Miami Heat. He did some light shooting Tuesday. When asked about wearing bright orange Nikes, Jefferson joked he needs to use up the old-color Bobcats shoes before Hornets training camp starts in October. ...

The Hornets will hold another workout Wednesday that will include P.J. Hairston from North Carolina, Andre Dawkins from Duke and K.J. McDaniels from Clemson. Others scheduled to participate: Jabari Brown (Missouri), Drew Crawford (Northwestern), Lamar Patterson (Pittsburgh) and Scott Wilbekin (Florida). Wilbekin was also scheduled to work out Tuesday in Charlotte.

Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell
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