July 28, 2022 - by

Caleb Mills: Prepared For Success As He Graduates From Florida State

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Every night when she arrived home from work, Sheree Mills knew where she would find her son, Caleb. 

She’d pull her car into the driveway, where the third of her four children would be in the backyard of the family home in the basketball-rich state of North Carolina.  He’d be working on his game tirelessly; honing the skills that have made him one of the top guards in the Atlantic Coast Conference. 

Her first words to Caleb were always: “Is your homework done?”  If it was, he could continue practicing.  If not, his drills were over for the day, she took the basketball from him and led him in to the house to complete his assignments. 

“Education in our household was a must, and not an option for any of my children,” said Sheree. 

Her philosophy paid off on July 29 when Caleb earns his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science from Florida State University.  After beginning his academic and basketball career at the University of Houston in 2019, and transferring to Florida State in 2021, Caleb completed his degree requirements in just over three years.

Following his graduation, Caleb will begin pursuing a graduate certificate in athletic coaching this fall, and return to the court as the Seminoles’ leading returning scorer entering the 2022-23 season.  Florida State begins its season in November at the Donald L. Tucker Center – the same arena where he will shake the hand of FSU president Richard McCullough and officially become a college graduate. 

On FSU’s commencement day, Caleb will walk across a graduation stage for the first time.  He graduated early from T.C. Roberson High School in December of 2019, and enrolled at Houston for the spring of 2020, foregoing the traditional ceremony to end his high school career. 

“One of the things that I have always known was that our schoolwork comes before anything else,” said Caleb.  “There was no getting around it; each of my brothers and sisters had to be successful in the classroom before we could even think about sports.”

Caleb Mills: Prepared For Success As He Graduates From Florida State

Caleb is the second of his siblings to graduate from college, with a third working towards his degree.  His older sister, Mi’Cayela, graduated from Winston-Salem State in 2018 and his younger brother, Collin, is currently a sophomore basketball player at Anderson College.

“Becoming the second member of my family to graduate from college is very important to me,” said Caleb.  “I’m happy to be one of those to change the narrative for my family.  I’m only the second of my brothers and sisters to graduate, and I am very proud of that.  My oldest sister graduated college, but it took her four years, so I’ll always have that to hold over her.”

It’s the dedication and determination in reaching the goals he set for himself at an early age that has allowed him to achieve success throughout his life. 

“I was always taught to set high standards in both academics and athletics,” said Caleb.  “There have been challenges, but I was raised by my mother and father to work through obstacles and overcome them.”

Caleb’s desire to be successful in every arena began at an early age.    

Sheree remembers back to his freshman season of high school and his dream to make the varsity team at Asheville Christian Academy (ACA).

Caleb and Sheree would be on the road to his first workout long before the sun came up.  Practice began at 5 a.m. but Caleb wanted the gym to himself before his teammates and coaches arrived.  Following his team’s early-morning practice, the coach would drop him at ACA, and he would attend a full day of classes.  After classes concluded, another practice began, and after that one, Sheree would leave work and drop Caleb at the local YMCA for another chance to work on his game. 

All the while, she stayed on him, and let him know that his schoolwork had better be done or the pre-dawn rides to the gym would be over. 

“I have often wondered how that much practice was possible,” said Sheree.  “But to see my boys living out their dreams was always a ride worth taking, and I’d do it again, and again, and again for them to reach the level of success they have.”

Caleb Mills: Prepared For Success As He Graduates From Florida State

Seminole Head Coach Leonard Hamilton also understands the importance of Caleb’s graduation to him and his family. 

“Graduating from college in three years is an incredible accomplishment,” said Hamilton.  “We are very proud of him as he earns his degree from Florida State.  Caleb is a driven young man who is successful because he prepares for success.  He has always prepared to achieve at a high level.  His parents are to be congratulated because they have prepared him to earn this life-changing achievement.”

With Caleb’s graduation, more than 97 percent (73 of 75) of the Seminole basketball players who have played through their fourth years under Hamilton and his staff, have earned their degree from Florida State. 

Caleb’s efforts in the classroom are also recognized by members of the Florida State Athletics Administrative team. 

“Caleb has shown true determination to achieve his goal of graduation in only three years,” said Charlie Hogan, Senior Associate Director of Student-Athlete Academic Services at Florida State.  “His ability to focus academically, while overcoming injuries in his career, is a true testament to him as an individual, his family, and to the FSU Basketball culture of academic achievement.”

Sheree is certainly Caleb’s biggest fan, and will be on-hand with her entire family to watch her son walk across the stage on one of his biggest days. 

“I have always told Caleb that ‘greatness is a product of your dreams,’” said Sheree. 

Caleb’s graduation from Florida State is certainly a dream come true for the entire Mills family. 

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