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Grant Miller Q&A


Grant Miller (La Verne, Calif./Damien HS) is in his fourth year as a member of the Pepperdine men’s water polo team. Eligibility-wise, Miller is a junior as he and three of his teammates redshirted last season for the good of the 2007 and 2008 teams. Miller has been a member of the United States Junior National Team and in 2003, he was the captain of the Youth National Team.


Q: You were a redshirt last year along with three of your teammates. Was that a difficult thing to do as a junior?


A: “It was. It was hard at first not to play in the games and help the team out. The coach explained the purpose to us because he knew we had some great athletes coming in and all of us together could win a national championship.”


Q: What kind of role did you play at practice and at the games last season?


A: “I think we all transitioned into player-coaches. It was a good opportunity for us to teach the freshmen and they seemed to really respond. We were really coaches in the water.”


Q: Not only did you redshirt last season, you also had to adjust to a new head coach. What was the transition like?


A: “It’s always difficult to adjust to a new coach, but in Coach Kocur’s case he had grown from a volunteer to an assistant to the head coach. It was like he had always been here and we like and respect him.”


Q: How did you get started playing water polo?


A: “My older brother played in high school and then I got interested in swimming to stay in shape for water polo.”


Q: How did you select Pepperdine?


A: “The assistant coach at the time, Alex Rodriguez, was my age-group coach and I just always wanted to come here.”


Q: Have you traveled many places to play water polo?


A: “I have. I’ve been to Europe with the Youth and Junior National Teams. Last summer our Pepperdine team went to Croatia. It was a great experience because we played against some professional teams and it really helped us grow as a team.”


Q: What are you majoring in?


A: “I’m a history major. I hope to get my teaching credential and become a high school teacher.”


Q: Are you interested in coaching?


A: “I’m more focused on teaching, but I know that high school coaches are hard to find and the fact that I could coach may help me get a teaching job.”


Q: Tell me about the special relationship this team seems to have.


A: “As long as I have been at Pepperdine it’s always been this way. We really are like a family. A lot of us live together or close to one another and because we have to practice so early in the mornings, lots of time we just hang out at each others’ houses or go to dinner together.”


Q: Where do you guys go outside of Malibu?


A: “The great thing about this place is everything is just 20 minutes away.”


Q: Do you think the 2007 Pepperdine team is capable of winning the NCAA championship?


A: “I do. I know we have the talent ... We just need to show up and be ready to play. I came to Pepperdine to win an NCAA title and I believe we will. We have shown that we can hang with the best. Our game with UCLA was tied and went into double overtime and we stayed competitive with USC for three quarters. We just need to be a little tougher mentally.”


Q: You will be playing among the best this weekend at the SoCal Tournament. This may give you the opportunity to play UCLA and USC again. What are your thoughts?


A: “We’re ready. We’ve worked on a lot of different things since we last met. We’ve stepped up the intensity of our practices and focused on our weaknesses. It should be a good tournament.”




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