Miller time

Former Queen’s setter off to play pro volleyball in Norway

Former Gaels’ setter Devon Miller is off to Norway this week to play professionally.
Former Gaels’ setter Devon Miller is off to Norway this week to play professionally.

About this time last week, recently graduated men’s volleyball setter Devon Miller was preparing to start a year without serious volleyball. By this time next week, he’ll be cooling his heels on another continent.

Miller, who finished his CIS eligibility last season, is now heading to Norway to play professionally. He said it was a quick decision to make, as he only heard about the opportunity last week.

“It was really fast,” he said. “I got first wind of it [last] Thursday night at 11 and now I’m taking off on Sunday.”

Miller was a key part of the Gaels’ squad for many years, leading them to OUA gold in 2006 and 2007 and OUA silver in 2008. He said he’s looking forward to the next step in his career.

“It will be really fun, and a good opportunity. It will be an adventure. I don’t know much about Norway.”

Miller, who has a degree in environmental science, said volleyball in Norway isn’t as lucrative as some other leagues, but he’s confident it will be a good move for him.

“It’s not a traditional contract in that I have to get a job in addition to it,” he said. “They expect you to get a job to supplement your income, so at first I was a little unsure. In Norway, apparently, the economy’s booming, so if I get a good job, I can play volleyball and get experience in my field.” Miller said he isn’t sure what to expect from the Norwegian league.

“I’ve heard it’s fairly comparable to the Danish league and the other Scandinavian leagues, but I don’t even know what that means,” he said. “It could be really good, it could be not as good as the OUA. I’m not really sure.”

For Miller, it was his time playing for the Gaels that led him to consider professional volleyball.

“I wouldn’t be doing this as a career if it wasn’t for coming here,” he said. “In third year when we went to Holland, that’s when I first sort of realized that that could be a possibility. Before that, I never thought I was good enough nor could become good enough.”

Miller said his time with the Gaels will help him adjust to his new life in Norway.

“I think the team and the coaches and all that definitely prepared me for this new experience, going off to new places and meeting new people, and hopefully my degree might come into it.”

Miller said pro volleyball will be more than just a job for him.

“It’s fun to me, so I’m going to try not to change my approach,” he said. “When I imagined playing pro, I sort of thought of it as a means to a cool new experience, using volleyball to see the world. I’m really fortunate in that sense. I’m seeing places that I probably wouldn’t have gone to, so that’s the most exciting part.”

Miller said there might be a bit of culture shock at first, though.

“The Norwegian league’s fairly new, so it’s made up of mostly people from Norway,” he said. “That will be an experience for sure. It will be interesting to be the new guy. … There will be tough times and there will be transition, a different schedule, different teammates and that in itself will take time to adjust to, but I’m confident it’s going to be all right.”

Miller said his time with the Gaels gave him a lot of lasting memories from the championship seasons.

“I’ll always remember those years and I’ll always remember the guys I shared them with,” he said.

Miller said he reminisces about the routine moments as well as the spectacular ones.

“The daily practices and the hanging out with my Queen’s friends, that’s something I’ll definitely miss,” he said.

Miller said he’d encourage the current crop of Gaels to work hard, but have fun as well.

“You get out of it what you put into it,” he said. “Have fun and become a close-knit team. That’s the only way you can win.”

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