LOGAN, Utah — This spring in the NCAA March Madness tournament, more of the nation was introduced to the bald, headband-wearing USU basketball player named Brock Miller.
People commenting on his unique look may not know he has an autoimmune disease known as alopecia, which prevents the growth of hair on his whole body.
His dedication on the court is matched by his efforts off the court to help other young people around the state feel more accepted and valued.
Miller grew up in Sandy in a basketball-playing family. Dad, uncles, brothers played in high school and college, and his talent quickly grew as well. When he was 12 years old, he started losing patches of hair.
“I was so young I didn’t know what to think about it. We went to the doctor and found out I have alopecia,” said Miller.
Eventually, he lost all of his hair. Middle school was difficult. He was bullied and it was not easy for him.
“I always had a special place in my heart for kids who have been bullied or feel alone, because I have felt that before,” he said.
He says his belief in God and having an outlet in basketball helped him overcome those challenges, and it shaped him into a better, more humble and kind person.
Miller became an example for others. People didn’t know his name, but they knew he was the bald basketball player at Brighton High School. He stood out on his Latter-day Saint mission in Argentina as well. But it gave him opportunities to talk about the gospel and serve others.
In 2017, he started playing ball for Utah State. Being on the team gave him even more opportunities to help others.
Bald is beautiful
He’s had people reach out to him and tell him about their child or a friend’s child who has alopecia. Miller invites them to games and meets their families, like a girl named Brielle who sat courtside, a boy named Grayson who got to see the locker room, and a young man named Ian who went with his family to eat lunch with Miller.
Miller says many of these kids have never met anyone else like them.
“It’s good to relate with these kids,” said Miler. “It hopefully gives them a little spark of hope and a sense of their worth. They are worth something and they are wanted and they are important, no matter if they have hair or they don’t have hair.”
“It’s been really cool to have this experience in my life and overcome it and be someone to look up to who are going through it right now,” he said.
Miller says these are incredible experiences that sometimes may even help him more than the kids, but he hopes they see his example of someone how has overcome a challenge and is confident and happy and thriving.
“Bald is beautiful like they always say,” he laughed.
Miller has been married for two years to who he calls his beautiful wife Bailey. He is starting the MBA program at Utah State. He is looking forward to what the basketball team can accomplish with the new head basketball coach.
This Aggie guard has two more years of eligibility, so you’ll still be seeing the head-band on the court in Logan and hopefully in next year’s March Madness tournament, too.
I have an idea for a future in-depth report. How do I tell you about it?
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