Jase Millsaps did not know what would happen when he returned to Tellico Plains.
The Bears’ senior transferred to Greenback in eighth grade but returned to Monroe County in time for his senior season of basketball.
In that season, Millsaps surged on the court and in practice as a trendsetter, a player that coaches and the younger group could turn to as a leader. After a year back in a maroon jersey, Millsaps showed his prowess, signing with Tennessee Wesleyan.
“He was our biggest leader this season and that was not what we were expecting to get out of him. It was good to get that,” Tellico Plains assistant coach Jesse Lambert said. “With being such a young team, it is always good to have people for our younger guys to look up to and take after.”
On a team made up of mostly underclassmen, Millsaps settled into the starting lineup with his physicality. Lambert and other coaches attribute the seamless way he transitioned into the team to a key moment in their season and the development of the younger group.
“He is someone that would come into practice every day and work hard. He was good at communicating and he is one of the best leaders off the court,” Lambert said. “Everybody loves being around him. He is a great kid.”
Short on veteran players for the squad, Millsaps took the opportunity to turn into one for Tellico even though he had not played with the Bears since middle school.
“Everyone was kind of surprised. You do not expect someone as a first-year player at school to be as big a leader as he was,” Lambert said. “It was something that we needed. I don’t know if we would win the games that we did win without him.”
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.