McMillan leaves Lincoln, returns to Uniondale

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Devon (Fatty) McMillan’s second stint at Lincoln lasted barely over a month. The Hofstra-bound senior, who spent his first two years of high school at the Coney Island powerhouse, is back at Uniondale (L.I.).

“I saw myself going back to my old self,” he said, explaining the decision. “I didn’t want to mess my life up.”

McMilllan, who lives on Long Island with his father, Dwayne, left Lincoln after he missed much of his sophomore seasons because of academic problems. He grew up in Bedford Stuyvesant with his brother, Dwan, a former star at Boys & Girls who is now at Indian Hills Community College (Iowa). He moved in with his father when his mother, Rachelle Daniels, relocated to upstate New York.

In his first season on Long Island, the 5-foot-11 McMillan averaged 12.9 points per game and led Uniondale to a 21-2 record and the public school state Class AA semifinals. More importantly, Dwayne McMillan said, he improved his academic standing, averaging a B-.

McMillan, 18, felt he had changed to the extent he could handle the distractions at Lincoln. But in just one month there, he was hanging out with the wrong crowd, cutting classes and saw his grades already slipping.

“I saw myself going downhill,” he said.

Dwayne McMillan left the decision up to his son, but did say he was “overwhelmed” by the news.

“He’s ready to take on responsibi­lity,” Dwayne McMillan said. “He knows what he has to do in class, what he has to do on the court, to get where he wants in life. That’s the bottom line.”

The defection puts a monkey wrench into the Railsplitt­ers’ plans of winning an unprecedented fifth consecutive city championship. Lincoln graduated stars Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati), James Padgett (Maryland) and Darwin (Buddha) Ellis (St. Francis College) and were depending on the versatile McMilllan to team with junior Shaquille Stokes in the backcourt.

Coach Dwayne (Tiny) Morton didn’t return multiple voicemail messages. McMillan said when he told Morton the news, the longtime coach was “in shock. He didn’t have much to say.”

McMillan said he is happy to be back at Uniondale, living at home with his father again. The level of competition isn’t the same, and he will miss the atmosphere at Lincoln. He always dreamed of playing for Morton and winning championships. But he’s back where he belongs.

“It’s not really the same, but kids over here are good, too,” he said. “I think my team can match up with any team in the city.”

Dwayne McMillan made it clear his son is done changing his mind.

“This is it,” he said. “He’s not going back to Lincoln.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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