Being a junior in a men’s basketball program coming off its first national championship in nine years, Miles Plumlee figured he might have some measure of campus clout on his side.
Duke University fans wedged tightly inside Cameron Indoor Stadium howled at the sight of Plumlee entering the court on a unicycle, his 6-foot-11 frame impeccably balanced as if invisible handlebars had somehow been installed.
But that’s Plumlee, the Indiana Pacers’ rookie forward/center who might best be described as unconventionally conventional.
The arrival designed to show he’s the wheel deal took place two years ago during the Blue Devils’ annual “Countdown to Craziness,” one of those preseason college hoops extravaganzas where bells, whistles and laughs tend not to be spared. Duke, however, might have cornered the market on effective implementation of a unicycle.
That’s Miles, said his father, Millard “Perky” Plumlee, patriarch of a family that has two sons, Mason and Marshall, still playing for Duke, and a daughter, Madeline, 17, who recently orally committed to play volleyball at the University of Notre Dame starting the 2014-15 school year.
“Miles was always more of a risk-taker. I can remember we lived on a farm in Battle Ground (north of Lafayette); and one day we couldn’t find Miles, who was about 3 at the time,” Perky remembered. “Finally, I look out a second-story window and I hear, ‘Hey, Dad.’ Miles was in a tree looking straight at me.”