Early UNLV great Miller gone but not forgotten

Elburt Miller played basketball at UNLV long before the Rebels ran to national prominence, but his contribution to the program can’t be overlooked. Miller, who averaged 29.3 points per game in his two years with the Rebels, died Dec. 4 at the age of 66.

Miller, who played for the Rebels from 1966-68, is still No. 12 on UNLV’s all-time scoring list. Despite playing in an era without a shot clock or 3-point line, Miller averaged 31.9 ppg as a junior and 26.7 ppg his senior season. He is the only Rebel to average more than 30 ppg for a season, and holds the program’s single-game scoring mark with 55 points against Portland on Feb. 12, 1967. He scored 30 or more points 27 times.

Miller, an inaugural member of the UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987, kept his distance from the program after his playing days were done, but his presence in the record books remains significant. He holds the top two spots for most free throws made in a season (280 in 1966-67 and 220 thefollowing season), and also holds the single-game records for field goals made (25) and free throws made (22).

Miller, ranked UNLV’s 10th greatest player by a panel of 25 voters in the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2010, was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the eighth round of the 1968 NBA Draft but never played in the league.

His absence from UNLV over the years dimmed the spotlight on his accomplishments with the Rebels, but the numbers speak for themselves.

After the deaths of such Rebel greats as Glen Gondrezick, Armon Gilliam, Lewis Brown, Frank “Spoon” James and Curtis Watson in recent years, Miller’s death is another sad loss for the UNLV program.