Playing for highly-successful teams, Drew Brandon and Ognjen Miljkovic added to Jim Hayford’s recruiting class
Eastern Washington University men’s basketball coach Jim Hayford has added to his 2013 recruiting class by signing junior college point guard Drew Brandon and 6-foot-7 forward Ognjen Miljkovic from Bishop Montgomery High School in California to letters of intent to attend EWU and play for the Eagles next year.
The 6-foot-3 Brandon played for Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif., and is originally from Corona, Calif., where he attended Santiago High School. In his second year at Sierra, the Wolverines finished 19-8. He had a 38-point performance last January to help him earn player of the month accolades among all California junior colleges.
“We are really excited to sign Drew,” said Hayford. “We feel like he is one of the top junior college point guards on the West Coast. He came from a very successful program at Sierra College with an outstanding coach I have known for 20 years, John Fusano. He raves about Drew’s ability. What impresses us the most is that he is a three-dimensional player, meaning he can shoot the ball, he can drive the ball and he can pass the ball. He gives us great size in the point guard position.”
Miljkovic is from Belgrade, Serbia, but played his last two years at Bishop Montgomery, which was 33-2 overall in the 2012-13 season and was at one point ranked No. 8 nationally. His first name is pronounced “Ahg-nehn” and his last name is pronounced “Meal-ko-vich.” Although they never played together, Eastern guard Tyler Harvey also played for Bishop Montgomery, which had four players from this year’s team sign with NCAA Division I schools.
“Ognjen joins us after two years at one of the top high school programs in California at Bishop Montgomery High School,” Hayford said. “He played for coach Doug Mitchell, who is an outstanding coach. It is the same program we were able to recruit Tyler Harvey from. We feel he is the type of player that will fit very well in our system. He is a big man who can shoot the three-point shot, but he has multiple offensive skills. Ognjen had a number of options of schools he could have chosen from, and we are really excited he selected Eastern Washington.”
Previously signed high school players by the Eagles include Australian forward Felix Von Hofe and guard Sir Washington from Las Vegas, Nev.
“When you look at this class as a whole with Sir Washington and Felix Von Hofe, I feel like we have added the next layer of the base that we needed to have,” added Hayford, who is entering his third year at the helm. “That base will enable our program to sustain success year-to-year.”
Drew Brandon - G, 6-3, 180, Jr., JC, Corona, Calif. / Santiago HS ’10 / Sierra College, Calif.
JC: Played two seasons at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif. In his sophomore season, Brandon was a first team All-Big 8 Conference selection and earned honorable mention All-State accolades. He finished the year averaging 15.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Brandon was named the 2013 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) and California Community College Sports Information Association Male Athlete of the Month for January. In seven games in January, he averaged 19.3 points, 7.7 assists, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.9 steals per game. On Jan. 25 against American River College, Brandon scored 38 points, pulled in nine boards, handed out nine assists, and had four steals. He scored 11 of Sierra’s final 13 points in the 77-66 victory. Said Wolverine Head Coach John Fusano: “Maybe only one other time in all my years of coaching, have I seen an individual performance like Drew had against ARC. ARC came in poised to beat us and Drew made sure that didn’t happen.” Sierra went on to finish 19-8 overall and 10-4 in the Big 8 Conference . The Wolverines were ranked in the top 10 among all California junior colleges, and lost 64-60 to West Valley in the second round of the CCCAA Playoffs. As a freshman, he earned honorable mention All-Big 8 honors.
HS: Graduated from Santiago High School in 2010. He played two years of varsity basketball for head coach David Humphries. As a senior he averaged 16.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 1.1 assists per game in helping the team finish 13-15. He scored 20 or more points nine times in his senior season as he earned first team all-league honors.
Personal: Parents are Gregory and Janet Brandon. Is considering majoring in communications.
Ognjen Miljkovic – F, 6-7, 220, Fr., HS, Belgrade, Serbia / Bishop Montgomery HS ’13 in California
HS: Miljkovic is from Belgrade, Serbia, but played his last two years at Bishop Montgomery High School. The Knights were 33-2 overall in the 2012-13 season and was at one point ranked No. 8 nationally and second among high schools in California. Bishop Montgomery won four games to capture the Southern Section of the CIF Playoffs, then won three games in the CIF Division IV State Tournament. The team’s outstanding season came to an end with a 73-69 loss to Pacific Hills in the semifinals. As a senior, he averaged 17 points and nine rebounds per game to earn All-Del Rey League accolades. He scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter when the Knights improved to 19-0 on the season with a 74-63 victory on Jan. 13 over St. John Bosco. He played in a pair of all-star games following his senior season. As a junior, the Knights finished 23-5 and lost in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Playoffs. Three of his teammates also signed with NCAA Division I schools in 2013 -- Lamond Murray (Pepperdine), Stefan Jovanovic (Hawaii) and Niko Filipovich (Hawaii). Although they never played together in high school, Eastern guard Tyler Harvey also played for Bishop Montgomery. Miljkovic also played for the Pump n’ Run AAU basketball team in California. While in Serbia, Miljkovic competed internationally on several national youth teams in Serbia.
Personal: Born 12/28/93 in Belgrade, Serbia. Nickname is “O.G.” and is used a lot in place of his difficult-to-pronounce first name. Parents are Rade and Danijela Miljkovic. Name is pronounced “Ahg-nehn Meal-ko-vich.”