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Darius Miller a candidate for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

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Darius Miller is one of 30 candidates for the 2011-12 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics) Darius Miller is one of 30 candidates for the 2011-12 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics)
On Friday, it was announced that senior guard Darius Miller has been chosen as one of 30 candidates in all of men's college basketball for the prestigious Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.

Miller was chosen for excellence he has demonstrated in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. He is one of just two candidates from the Southeastern Conference, joining Florida's Erving Walker. A native of Maysville, Ky., Miller is the lone fourth-year senior on a Kentucky team ranked second in the preseason.

From his player card at, here is how Miller fits each of the four areas of excellence:

Miller is majoring in Community Communications and Leadership Development, which is preparing him for leadership positions in public and private organizations or government agencies. It is an interdisciplinary social science major.

Miller is the lone four-year senior on this year's squad. Through a coaching change and several players graduating and leaving for the NBA, he has been the mainstay for the program the last four years. This offseason he was the driving force behind organizing workouts and pick-up games for a freshman- and sophomore-laden team. In his junior season, he put the young Wildcats on his back and led them to the school's 27th SEC Tournament Championship, earning SEC Tournament MVP honors along the way. His dedication to the team, and UK Athletics as a whole, led him to be his team's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative. Because of his commitment to the Kentucky basketball program and his team, he is on pace to become the 58th player in school history to reach the 1,000 point milestone.

Miller has been an active member in the community, participating in several community-service projects. He helped God's Pantry Food Bank in the Back Pack Packing and Delivery program. He's visited the UK Children's Hospital as well as the Pediatric Oncology Unit in Portland, Ore. Miller was also active in the Samaritan Feet Project, the Hoops for Haiti fundraiser and he's been a visitor at the local Ronald McDonald House.

As a junior, Miller shot a career-high 44.3 pct. from three-point range, the second highest percentage in the league and the third best single-season percentage in program history. He also ranked 13th in the Southeastern Conference in blocked shots (1.1).  This summer, Miller was selected to play for Team USA at the 2011 World University Games in China, where he averaged 5.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. In the summer of 2009 he was selected to the USA U-19 National Team, helping win the gold medal at the U-19 World Championship in New Zealand.

Midway though this college basketball season, the list of 30 candidates will be trimmed to 10 finalists. Media, coaches and fans will then participate in a voting process that will culminate in the announcement of the winner during the 2012 NCAA Men's Final Four in New Orleans.

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