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July 8, 2006

Already a star, Miller competes with the best

Teaneck, N.J. -- Percy Miller, a.k.a. Lil' Romeo, owns a Cadillac Escalade and lives in Beverly Hills. Everywhere he goes, there are autograph seekers.

He's been in movies, he has his own television show, his own records and he is the son of rap entrepeneur Master P. He's more than likely the richest person in the gymnasium. By far. At 16 years old, he is already a multi-millionaire.

This week, though, he is not a superstar. He is No. 11 on the Bulls team at Reebok ABCD Camp. Lil Romeo has made it in the entertainment industry. Now he is trying to make it on the basketball court.

"This is what I've been doing since before the music and everything else," Miller said. "I like playing against the best competitors. This is what I love to do, play basketball."

Obviously, Miller is not your typical teenager. He had to postpone the shooting of a movie so he could attend camp this week. Usually, he spends eight hours in the studio working on his music.

"It's crazy," he said. "Sometimes I'm in there all night."

But it would not be right any other way for Miller, who describes himself as a workaholic who aims to only do the things in life that make him happy -- music, entertainment and basketball.

There is still a youthful side to Miller, a refreshing child-like attitude that wants to have fun and be carefree. Make no mistake, he is goal-oriented and mature. But sometimes he likes to let loose and just be a kid.

"My house is like a family reunion every day," Miller said. "I have my AAU team over and we hang out. My cousins and my family are always there. We have a real fun time."

He laughs when he talks about family members from his native New Orleans falling when trying to navigate the hills of his canyon home. Miller, listed at 5-foot-11, always seems to be enjoying life.

He's got the cars and the money and the homes and the diamonds. He's a success on television, in movies, in music. Now he wants to conquer basketball.

An invitation to ABCD was a good first step, even though he ranks second-to-last among all campers on the stat sheet. But ABCD is an elite camp and no one said he's the top player in the 2008 class. Everything Miller is involved with turns out to be successful. He wants to make basketball no different.

"My father gives me a lot of advice, not only on basketball or music, but on life," Miller said. "He tells me if you're not happy doing what you are doing, then find something else. This is what makes me happy."

Jennings, Love connection

Kevin Love, who leads the camp in scoring and rebounding after two days, gave Brandon Jennings the best compliment on Thursday.

"A lot of guys are selfish, a lot of guys won't pass the ball," Love said. "Brandon's not like that. He makes us all better."

Love is averaging 18.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Jennings, a 2008 prospect who has UConn, Arizona, USC and Texas as his top four schools, is second in camp at 4.5 assists per outing. He's also averaging 9.5 points.

"He's the man," Love said. "I can't believe he's in the class of 08. He's such an amazing player. He passes the ball, he gets in the lane, he sets up players with shots. He gets our team going."

For Jennings, who will transfer from Los Angeles (Calif.) Dominguez to Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy this season, it all comes naturally.

The masterful dribbiling. The pinpoint passing. The ability to drive the lane, draw the defender and dump it off to an open teammate for an easy two points. He can drill the 3-pointer or finish an alley-oop. Like Love said, Jennings is the man.

"I just go out and play," Jennings said. "I come out and try to look for open teammates. Sometimes I come down the court and I don't even know what I'm going to do, I just do it."

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