St. Joe's Miles gets to walk and work out

JENSEN20
Saint Joseph's forward Isaiah Miles celebrates against Cincinnati. Miles is in Chicago this week for the NBA combine, but he will return for graduation on Saturday.

CHICAGO - Isaiah Miles' unexpected elation suddenly turned into disappointment before it ultimately spun back to joy.

It all began when the St. Joseph's forward performed well enough at the Portsmouth Invitational tournament last month to earn an invitation to the NBA draft combine here. The only problem was that the combine runs Wednesday through Sunday, and his college graduation ceremony is Saturday morning back in Philadelphia.

"At first, they were saying, 'You are not going to be able to walk' " at graduation, Miles said.

But his Philadelphia-based agent, Michael Siegel, made everything right for the 6-foot-7, 210-pounder. Miles will fly back to Philly on Friday night to make Saturday's 9 a.m. graduation. Then the Baltimore native, who will get a criminal justice degree, will board a plane back to Chicago at 6 p.m. Saturday to undergo medical testing on Sunday.

"I owe it to my parents," Miles said of attending graduation. He will join his mother, Tammi, and sister, Briana, as his family's college graduates.

"I would love the see the smile on my mom's face when I walk across that stage to get that diploma," Miles said.

Until then, he's enjoying this opportunity to show NBA teams that he's capable of playing on their level. Miles interviewed with Indiana officials Thursday morning and is to meet with the Washington Wizards Friday morning. The Atlantic Ten Conference's and Big Five's most improved player of the year is also participating in the on-court drills and scrimmages at Quest Multisport Complex.

Siegel "has been saying stuff like low-to-mid second round," Miles said of his draft projections, although he realizes there's a chance he could go undrafted. "But I tell him to not tell me too much because I don't want to focus on rankings and the [mock] drafts. I just want to play my game.

"The less I know, the better it is for me."

Miles worked out for Boston officials earlier this week before heading to Chicago. He is scheduled to work out at Brooklyn next Thursday. And he'll follow that up with workouts with Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Milwaukee, and the Knicks.

He had interviewed with the Mavericks, Spurs, Magic, and Grizzlies while at Portsmouth.

Good at stretching the floor, Miles thinks he can become a mismatch problem for other power forwards and centers.

"I can guard fives," he said. "I can guard fours. I can guard threes. So I think me being as versatile as I am is definitely helpful for any team that will pick me up."

kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.philly.com/sixersblog