Colter Miller had an agonizing decision to make: basketball or football.
The three-sport athlete at Three Forks had earned All-State honors in both this past year, and the senior received plenty of interest from college coaches in each sport.
But when it came down to it, Miller’s heart was with basketball and he made it official Friday afternoon by signing a letter of intent to play at the University of Montana-Western in Dillon.
“That was probably the hardest thing was which one to give up. It was just a hard thing to do,” said Miller. “I don’t know it’s just something about basketball. The coaches and everybody around me, and Three Forks is huge in basketball, just drew me that way.”
Miller helped the Wolves reach the state Class B tournament in each of the past two seasons, and guided the football team to the postseason for the first time in a decade this past fall playing quarterback and linebacker.
Three Forks’ basketball team went 0-2 in both appearances at the state tournament, which included a heartbreaking first round loss to Poplar in March. The Wolves blew a 17-point fourth quarter lead and eventually lost 68-67 in overtime.
But Miller only has found memories of his prep career at Three Forks.
“It’s not so much my basketball career, but just the friends I’ve made. The memories I’ve made with them outside of basketball is really what I’ll probably always remember,” Miller said. “Of course there’s the Poplar game. It hurt so bad that happened. You just got to move on and try to get the next level and push towards it.”
UM-Western finished with a 9-21 record this past season, including 3-15 in the Frontier Conference, under first-year head coach Mike Larsen.
“He’s a great coach and I can’t wait to play for him,” said Miller.
While the 6-foot-3 Miller primarily played in the paint for Three Forks (he ranked second in District 5B in scoring with 15.6 points per game) he’s expecting to be moved the perimeter with the Bulldogs.
“I’m not big enough to be (inside). I knew it, that’s what every coach told me,” said Miller. “So now I’m working on shooting, ball handling.”
Miller also explored the in-state programs at Dawson Community College, Rocky Mountain College and the University of Providence, but joining the Bulldogs’ program felt like the best fit.
“I’ve always gone to their camps and I love the campus,” said Miller. “The block schedule is really nice. I can see it being good and it fits well with the way that I learn.”
Miller plans to study biology and following his playing career becoming a dentist.
He’s also hoping to play a major role in turning UM-Western into a national contender, following in the footsteps of the women’s team, which won the NAIA National Championship in March.
“Everybody’s hyped up. Everybody knows that Dillon’s on the map. They really put Dillon on the map for boys basketball and women’s,” said Miller. “Of course women’s is huge, but I believe boys will get there in a couple years. We got a great recruiting class and we’ll just keep working our tail off.”