Mills with the Spurs
|No. 8 – San Antonio Spurs|
11 August 1988 |
|Listed height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Listed weight||185 lb (84 kg)|
|High school||Marist College
|College||Saint Mary's (2007–2009)|
|NBA draft||2009 / Round: 2 / Pick: 55th overall|
|Selected by the Portland Trail Blazers|
|Pro playing career||2009–present|
|2009–2011||Portland Trail Blazers|
|2009–2010||→Idaho Stampede (D-League)|
|2011||Melbourne Tigers (Australia)|
|2011–2012||Xinjiang Flying Tigers (China)|
|2012–present||San Antonio Spurs|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Patrick Sammy "Patty" Mills (born 11 August 1988) is an Indigenous Australian professional basketball player who currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In the NBA, he has also played for the Portland Trail Blazers. He is one of the first Indigenous Australians to play basketball in the NBA, and is one of the youngest players ever to suit up for the Australian national basketball team, the Boomers. At the 2012 Olympic basketball tournament, Mills had the highest scoring average with 21.2 points per game, ahead of Kevin Durant of the USA, who averaged 19.5 points per game.
Early life and career
Mills' father is a Torres Strait Islander and his mother is an Aborigine from the Ynunga people of South Australia. He was first exposed to basketball as a four-year-old with The Shadows, an Indigenous Australian team that his parents established. Mills attended Marist College Canberra where he played a variety of sports in addition to basketball, such as Australian football and athletics. He served as ball boy for the Canberra Cannons of the NBL around 2000. During that time, his family developed a close relationship with Cannons player David Patrick, who would eventually play a key role in Mills' career.
At the age of 15, Mills was selected for the ACT U-18 squad to compete in the Australian National Championships. The following year, Mills accepted a full-time scholarship with the Australian Institute of Sport, which had also developed three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson and current Golden State Warriors player Andrew Bogut, where he continued to develop as a player. He also made a strong impression at the 2005 Australian Olympic Youth Festival, an event considered to be a showcase for future elite sporting talents.
In January 2006, he received the RE Staunton Medal as top player in the Australia under-20 national championships. In April that year, he received more international attention when he was named to the World team of under-20 players that played a US team of the same age group at the Nike Hoop Summit in Memphis, Tennessee. Mills led the World squad with 6 assists and also added 8 points in a losing effort. He was one of 22 players invited to try out for the Australia squad for the 2006 FIBA World Championship, becoming the youngest player ever to participate in a Boomers training camp. While he was in training with the Boomers in July, he was named by Basketball Australia as the Junior Male Player of the Year. Mills also had an outstanding 2006 season with the AIS men's team in the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL), earning him a place on the All SEABL East men's team and the honour of 2006 SEABL U-21 Australian Youth Player of the Year. He went on to be named the 2006 Basketball Australia Player of the Year, and also received two major awards from Indigenous Australian organisations—The Deadlys Award for Most Promising New Talent in Sport and NAIDOC's National Sportsperson of the Year.
Mills signed with Saint Mary's College of California during the NCAA national early signing period in November 2006. Although he was pursued by several other NCAA Division I schools such as Utah (where Bogut played before coming to the NBA), Wake Forest, Alabama, and Nebraska (where he would have joined fellow Australian Aleks Maric), he came to Saint Mary's, indicating that he was comfortable with the Gaels' head coach Randy Bennett. Also, just prior to the 2006–07 season, Bennett had hired Mills' old family friend, David Patrick, as an assistant coach. Mills became the fifth Australian that Bennett successfully recruited since arriving at St. Mary's in 2001. One of the other Australians to have played under Bennett at Saint Mary's was fellow AIS old boy Daniel Kickert, the Gaels' all-time leading scorer.
Mills also followed in Kickert's footsteps in another way, becoming the first freshman to start for the Gaels since Kickert did so in the 2002–03 season. He first broke into the American basketball consciousness in his fourth game of the 2007–08 season, when he scored 37 points to lead the Gaels to an upset of nationally ranked Oregon on 20 November 2007. The win also validated pre-season expectations for the Gaels, who were picked before the season to finish second in the West Coast Conference behind traditional conference power Gonzaga. The Gaels went on to start the season 7–0 and earn their first national ranking since 1989. The Gaels also won the 2007 edition of the Rainbow Classic, an annual eight-team December tournament hosted by the University of Hawaiʻi, with Mills being named tournament MVP.
The Gaels were nationally ranked for most of the season, ultimately finishing second in WCC regular-season play to Gonzaga. After the regular season, Mills was named WCC Newcomer of the Year and also made the All-WCC first team. At the end of the regular season, Mills was the second-leading freshman scorer in the WCC at 14.4 points per game, and also led all WCC freshmen in assists (3.47 per game) and steals (1.80 per game).
The Gaels went on to the NCAA tournament, where they lost in the first round to Miami (FL). In that game, Mills' 24 points made him the only Gael to score in double figures, and he also led the Gaels with 5 assists.
Portland Trail Blazers
In April 2009, Mills entered the 2009 NBA Draft, waiting until the final minutes of the deadline before making the decision. He was selected with the 25th pick of the second round (55th pick overall) by the Portland Trail Blazers.
During practice for the NBA Summer League, he suffered a fracture in his right foot, and required surgery. He signed with the Blazers in October 2009 after speculation of whether he would be signed at all due to the injury and the number of point guards already on the roster.
After completing rehabilitation from surgery on his foot in December, Mills was assigned to the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League. In his debut with Idaho, he scored 38 points and added 12 assists and 3 rebounds. After one more game with the Stampede, in which he scored the game-winning basket, Mills made his NBA debut for the Trail Blazers on 4 January. In just under 5 minutes he registered 2 assists but scored no points. Mills was re-assigned to the Stampede on 13 January 2010, but returned to the Blazers later that month. Mills saw his minute allocation rise in December 2010, and his statistical contribution rose accordingly. It marked the first significant court-time for Mills in his NBA career. Mills along with teammate Rudy Fernández donated 50% of the proceeds from their jerseys sales, throughout the month of January, to help those affected by the floods in Australia.
On 13 April 2011, the final game of the regular season, Mills hit 23 points against the Golden State Warriors on 7–16 from the field and 4–7 from three-point range, along with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
On 29 August 2011, during the 2011 NBA lockout, Mills signed with the Melbourne Tigers in Australia for the 2011–12 NBL season. On 7 October, he suited up for the Tigers' first home game against the Sydney Kings in Round 1, scoring 28 points and leading the Tigers to an 82–76 win in the inaugural Capital City Clash.
After playing 9 games for the Tigers, Mills announced he would be leaving the Tigers to play in China with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers. He finished his short NBL stint with averages of 18.6 points per game, 2.3 rebounds per game and 5 assists per game. His stint in China would end on 3 January 2012 when he would be released for allegedly faking a hamstring injury. Mills denied this report. In the 12 games that Mills played for Xinjiang, he averaged 26.5 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 3.8 assists per game, and 2.7 steals per game.
San Antonio Spurs
On 27 March 2012, Mills signed with the San Antonio Spurs after a week or so of attempting to attain a work visa so he could make the transition. He scored 20 points in his third game back against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On 26 April 2012, Mills scored a career high 34 points and also dished out 12 assists in the Spurs' 107–101 win against the Golden State Warriors. Mills also surpassed Andrew Bogut's record for most points in a single NBA game by an Australian.
In the 2011–12 season, Mills averaged 10.3 points, 2.4 assists, and 1.8 rebounds in 16 games.
On 13 July 2012, Mills re-signed with the Spurs for the 2012–13 season. Mills averaged 5.1 points, 1.1 assists, and 0.9 rebounds in 58 games that season.
On June 24, 2013, it was announced that Mills had exercised his player option to return to the Spurs for 2013–14 season.
Australian national team
After repeating as Staunton Medallist in 2007, Mills completed his scholarship with the AIS and opted to play for Saint Mary's. Before arriving in the Bay Area in August 2007, he played for Australia at the FIBA U-19 World Championship in Serbia, in which Australia finished fifth. He was then called up to the Boomers in July 2007, making his debut against Austria on 31 July in an international friendly tournament in Bormio, Italy. Mills scored 11 points off the bench and was credited with changing the complexion of the match, which Australia won 84–63. This not only made him one of the youngest Boomers ever, but also made him only the third Indigenous Australian, after Michael Ah Mat in the 1960s and Danny Morseu in the 1980s, to play for the Boomers. Mills went on to make the Boomers squad for the FIBA Oceania Championship, which doubled as a qualifier for the 2008 Olympics. His main highlight in the competition, which was a three-match series against Australia's trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand, came in the second and ultimately deciding match. Mills came off the bench to score 17 points, helping lead the Boomers to a 93–67 rout of the Tall Blacks that punched their ticket to Beijing.
Mills was a member of the Australian squad that gave the USA Basketball team its closest tune-up game of the summer before the Beijing Olympics. The USA National team beat Australia 87–76 in its exhibition game in Shanghai, China. Australia's star player, the Milwaukee Bucks' Andrew Bogut, did not play because of a sore right ankle. Mills, the youngest player on the floor, was impressive as he added 13 points for the Australian squad.
Mills averaged a team-best 14.2 points, all off the bench, in the six games the Aussies played in Beijing. He scored 20 points in a quarterfinal loss to the United States, with three assists, two steals and zero turnovers in 28 minutes.
At the London International Basketball Invitational, the Boomers lost a tight contest to France 71–67. Playing against NBA star Tony Parker, Mills scored a team high 20 points. The following game against Croatia, Mills led the Boomers to a 78–66 win, scoring a game high 22 points. Mills scored a tournament high 39 against Great Britain.
During the 2010–11 NBA season, Mills and teammate Rudy Fernandez created a trend in which certain Blazers formed the "A-OK" sign with each hand and placed them over their eyes after making a three-point shot. The gesture was meant to resemble a pair of goggles with three fingers in the air to reference the shot just made. When Fernandez would struggle with his three-pointers, Mills used to joke that he needed help seeing. After knocking down threes, Fernandez would put on the goggles as if to say, "I can see with these on." The trend quickly spread across the team, becoming routine for players such as Mills, Fernandez, Wesley Matthews, Marcus Camby, and Brandon Roy. T-Shirts with the gesture were printed and popularly sold in Portland. Nuggets guard J. R. Smith performed the goggles after sinking a three-pointer against the Blazers, a gesture which irritated some in Portland but demonstrated the popularity of the gesture. The gesture has caught on at many levels of basketball in America; for example, Darius Johnson-Odom, Doron Lamb, and Nolan Smith adopted it in college to celebrate their baskets.
Patty Mills met long-time girlfriend Alyssa Levesque, also a college basketball player, while they were both attending Saint Mary's College of California. Levesque currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- 2012 – Made ESPN All-London Second Five
- 2012 – Mills has highest scoring average at 2012 London Olympics with an average of 21.2 points per game
- 2012 – On 26 April 2012, Mills scored a career high 34 points vs Golden State Warriors.
- 2012 – Has first game in the San Antonio Spurs starting five.
- 2012 – On 27 March 2012, Mills signed with the San Antonio Spurs.
- 2009 – Drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft, the second Indigenous Australian to be drafted into the NBA
- 2008 – Australia Post Boomers squad member; Beijing Olympics
- 2008 – WCC Newcomer of the Year, All-WCC First Team
- 2007 – MVP Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic, Saint Mary's College Tournament champions
- 2007 – West Coast Conference Player of the Month: December 2007
- 2007 – West Coast Conference Player of the Week: 26 November 2007 and 26 December 2007
- 2007 – In just his fourth NCAA game for Saint Mary's, Mills dominated with 37 points against Oregon – the sixth-best return in the school's history, and best by a first-year player.
- 2007 – Australia Post Boomers squad member; Under-19 men squad member;
- 2006 – Boomers squad member (youngest at 17 years of age); AIS scholarship; Australian Junior Camp; U-20 World team at Nike Hoops Summit (USA); U-20 National Championships representing ACT and RE Staunton Medallist
- 2005 – AIS scholarship; Australian Junior Camp; Youth Olympic Festival Australian men's team (gold); U-18 National Championships representing ACT
- 2004 – U-18 National Championships representing ACT
- 2003 – Marist All Ages Basketball Tournament – MVP
- Reed, Ron, Herald Sun (4 August 2007). "New kid on Boomers' block". Basketball Australia. Archived from the original on 5 September 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2007.
- Whelliston, Kyle (30 November 2007). "Memphis, St. Mary's and Gonzaga have freshman gems". ESPN.com. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
- Malone, Frances (7 December 2006). "Patrick Mills is standing tall". Basketball Australia. Archived from the original on 7 September 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2007.
- Pashelka, Curtis (24 November 2007). "Aussies could outnumber Americans at SMC game". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 30 November 2007. (free registration required)
- "Mills caps off big week with BA junior award". Basketball Australia. 12 July 2007. Archived from the original on 10 September 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2007.
- "US too powerful for World in Hoop Summit". Basketball Australia. 9 April 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2007.[dead link]
- "Men's Basketball Inks Patrick Mills During Early Signing Period" (Press release). Saint Mary's College Athletics. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
- Starks, Jennifer (1 November 2007). "Patrick Mills". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 30 November 2007. (free registration required)
- "Coaches: David Patrick". Saint Mary's College Athletics. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
- Baxter, Bill (27 November 2007). "Boomers: Mills best in the West". Basketball Australia. Archived from the original on 23 November 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
- "Freshman Mills scores 37 points as Saint Mary's upsets Oregon". ESPN.com. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
- Glockner, Andy (12 December 2007). "Aboriginal hoops star putting face on St. Mary's". ESPN.com. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- "Men's Basketball Win Rainbow Classic Title With 70–63 Win Over Ohio" (Press release). Saint Mary's College Athletics. 23 December 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
- "WCC Announces 2008 Men's Basketball All-Conference Teams" (Press release). West Coast Conference. 4 March 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2008.
- Associated Press (21 March 2008). "McClinton leads Hurricanes' rally with career-high 38 points". ESPN.com. Retrieved 26 March 2008.
- Freeman, Joe (14 July 2009). "Mills undergoes successful surgery". The Oregonian. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
- "Trail Blazers Sign Patrick Mills". NBA.com. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2009.
- "Portland waives Tolliver, sends Mills to Idaho". NBA.com. 29 December 2009.
- NBA Development League: Idaho picks up 123–109 win over Reno
- "Blazers @ Clippers box score, 4/1/10". NBA.com.
- Portland's Mills Re-Assigned To Idaho Stampede.
- Trail Blazers recall has Mills on brink of scoring his first points in NBA
- Freeman, Joe (21 January 2011). the RE Staunton Medal as topam.html "Trail Blazers, Patty Mills team up to help Australian flood victims". The Oregonian (Oregon Live LLC.). Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- Tigers sign NBA star Boomer Patty Mills
- Patty Mills calls time on the NBL
- Mills' NBL stats
- "Aussie Patty Mills shines again in NBA". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 April 2012.
- "Spurs Re-Sign Patrick Mills". NBA.com. July 13, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- Patty Mills Exercises Player Option
- "Australia’s best young basketballers unveiled at Australian Institute of Sport" (Press release). Australian Institute of Sport. 29 March 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2007.
- "Mills comes of age in Boomers debut". Basketball Australia. 31 July 2007. Archived from the original on 5 September 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2007. (scroll down page to reach article)
- Mills is sometimes credited with being the youngest ever, but this is incorrect. Mills debuted on 31 July 2007, at the age of 18 years and 11 months. But the AIS Representative History page records that Andrew Vlahov, born 1 April 1969, debuted in 1987, so Vlahov could not have been older than 18 years 9 months.
- Australia's Patty Mills tops Olympic basketball point-scoring averages
- Calkins, Matt. "'3 Goggles' are the rage in Portland". Columbian, 2010.
- Tokito, Mike. "Blazers: Nuggets' J.R. Smith co-opts '3 Goggles' gesture 'all in the fun of the game'". Oregonlive, 2010.
- College basketball’s newest celebration fad is the '3 goggles'
- Away From Country, National Indigenous Television, 2013
- "Alyssa Levesque on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- Aaron Preine (18 February 2013), Keep the Passion: Patty Mills, Pounding the Rock