As the Atlanta Hawks look to spark a promising future with the newly-minted NBA G League affiliate College Park Skyhawks, they’ll rely upon a successful piece of a prior puzzle. After two years as the Manager of Basketball Operations of the Erie BayHawks, Tori Miller has been promoted to Assistant General Manager of the Skyhawks.
During her time in Erie, Miller was tasked with duties such as scouting, travel and practice coordination, and acted as an overall liaison between staffs in Erie and Atlanta. This certainly meant wearing many hats, but such versatility should prove to have prepared her for this elevated role.
“I really enjoy working with different aspects of our organization. From our business side, to our players and coaches, coordinating with our front office in Atlanta,” Miller said. “There’s a lot to it, so it’s something I enjoy.”
Now, she’ll leave even more of her fingerprints on the makeup of the College Park squad, all while hoping to create that seamless extension of Atlanta Hawks basketball. Prior to joining the organization, Miller’s path included a two-season stint as a basketball operations intern with the Phoenix Suns. Despite assuming other roles along the way, Miller is someone who truly understands the grit and grind, quite similar to that of the one NBA G League athletes face day in and day out. Before joining the Hawks, Miller was relentless in networking, scouting games at various levels and sending scouting reports (coupled with her own budding portfolio) to personnel from all thirty NBA teams.
All the while, neither her passion nor determination wavered.
“It’s pretty simple. My motivation is that I believe in making the impossible possible. I think that mindset creates opportunities. That’s what I always revert back to and keep fighting. I know I want to be a game changer,” she said. “You have to believe in making the impossible possible.”
Miller explained how her current role can be traced back to a chance meeting that stemmed from her continued perseverance and travels on her own dime.
“I was attending a college game and ran into Sam Presti. I wanted to introduce myself. It took me a while to muster up the courage and figure out what I was going to say. I had seen him in the stands and shot him an e-mail asking if he were available to meet. When we connected after the game, he told me Malik Rose was about to be named GM of the Erie BayHawks,” she beamed . “Malik and I had met before and kept in contact. Sam told me to reach out to him and gave me a recommendation on his behalf. It ultimately led me to joining the Hawks.”
As a rising female in basketball operations, Miller knows she’s had a mountain to climb. But as her hard work pays off in the form of a well-deserved role, she knows what laying down the building blocks now can do for other young female professionals later.
“It means the world. I didn’t realize the magnitude. I receive about ten or so messages every two weeks from girls looking to break in. They let me know that they see me and it means the world to know that I’m making an impact on their lives,” she pointed out. “That’s something that motivates me because it’ll be easier for the next girl that sends out her resume for that basketball operations internship. It won’t be thrown out because she’s a girl. I can be someone who can break the mold and create a path for others looking to break in.”
As the Hawks look to develop fascinating prospects in College Park with Miller helping spearhead the charge, she said, “It just goes to show that once you’re out there grinding, someone will notice and your opportunity will come.”