There has been a big push for diversity and inclusion in all wings of cycling in 2020. While the idea hit the mainstream this year, Reggie Miller has advocated for the same for years. USA Cycling announced that the NBA Hall of Fame inductee is bringing that drive to its board of directors going forward.
Miller says the “biggest reason I joined the USA Cycling board was to hopefully diversify cycling and to get more kids on bikes.”
Ed Ewing, Ludica Deng and Brendan Quirk join Miller as new additions to the USAC borad.
“We are honored to have Lucia, Ed, Reggie and Brendan join the USA Cycling Board to guide us in championing the sport of cycling and building an organization for the future.” said Rob DeMartini, CEO of USA Cycling. “Lucia, Ed, Reggie and Brendan all bring unique perspectives, experience and passion for cycling, and we welcome their input and guidance in championing American cycling at every level.”
Miller: from NBA to trails and advocacy
Miller, who took up mountian biking while still playing professional basketball, has taken a deep dive into riding since his retirement. He has his own Boombaby apparel line, though Castelli, which focuses on inclusivity and an welcoming approach to riding and racing. The ex-Indiana Pacer has taken his competitive spirit to the trails, racing in mountain bike events at home in California on his outsized Santa Cruz bikes. He also dabbles in road riding on a very large Moots.
Earlier in 2020, Miller released a special edition “Say Their Names” kit with Castelli in response to a wave of protest in the U.S. and around the world. The kit raised funds for the Equal Justice Initiative.
It’s not the only time Miller has used his profile to raise awareness through mountain biking. Later in 2020, he rode in Jenny Rissveds’ Team 31 kit. The 2016 Olympic women’s XCO gold medallist started her own team, encouraging youth to follow healthy, non-results focused engagement in sports. It wasn’t just a natural meeting of causes. 31 also happens to be Miller’s playing number when he was with the Pacers.
While Miller promoting Team31 shows two Olympic champions working together, the retired pro is also mentoring an asipiring Olympian. Miller is among the legion of mentors, supporters and coaches helping U.S. 2018 world champion Kate Courtney chase her own Olympic drem.
Miller’s Canadian connections
While Miller is joining USA Cycling’s board, the NBA icon has two Canadian connections. His coach, and his kit.
B.C. resident Sonya Looney has worked with Miller as his mountain bike coach for years now. “Sonya Looney is the number one reason I stayed with mountain biking,” the Hall-of-Famer told MBAction. “In my early mountain bike journey, Sonya helped me with my confidence. There were times when I was ready to fold the tent and go home, but her positivity kept me in it.”
The two connected on Instagram, where Looney said she initially had no idea the Reggie Miller asking her questions was the Reggie Miller.
Miller also developed a relationship with Ontario apparel brand Reggie. The grounds for a connection between brand and rider is obvious, of course. Miller regularly posts pictures of himself riding in Reggie jersies. The brand’s gravel race, the Reggie Ramble, was cancelled in 2020, but Miller says “it’s been added to my bucket list of races to do” when the borders open and racing resumes.