Danny Miles Forges New Legacy with Adopted Daughter Post Retirement

Just days before Danny Miles' last home game at Oregon Tech, an adopted daughter from Rwanda made the trip to the U.S., one that would change her life forever.

Posted: Nov 15, 2018 6:33 PM
Updated: Nov 15, 2018 7:17 PM

MEDFORD -- The legacy Danny Miles built in his 45 years at Oregon Tech was forged based on the trophies he put in cases and the diplomas he put in hands. In life after basketball, his legacy is partly being shaped by a young woman now filling his picture frames at home. 

While on a mission trip to Rwanda, Danny and his wife Judie met Honorine Icyitegetse, a 20-year-old who was helping take care of widows and orphans, many of whom had lost family members in the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

"We saw a young lady who didn't get a lot of breaks in her life and we thought we could help her," Danny Miles said. 

Honorine instantly clicked with Judie Miles even though the two didn't speak the same language. They bonded through singing. While the boys were playing basketball, the girls were chasing their passion.

"We went behind the stadium and sang together," Judie Miles said. 

Honorine lost her own parents before she was nine years old. Her father died of a heart attack as the family fled Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Her mother died in childbirth a few years later. An orphan before her ninth birthday, Honorine found little motivation to try in school or go after her dreams.

"I was crying, 'Oh my gosh, where am I going to go home?' So, it was a really tough time," Icyitegetse said, "When you're orphaned, it seems like everyone hates you and no one cares about you."

Through faith and music, Honorine discovered in high school that that was not the case. Still, she had not felt the love of parents in a very long time until the Miles' entered her life. When Danny and Judie returned to Rwanda the next year, they made an offer to Honorine.

"We said, 'Honorine, would you be interested in joining our family?'" Judie Miles recalls. 

"I'd already started calling them mom and dad, so I was so happy," Honorine remembers of the life-changing question.

She was eager to come to the United States, but it took years to become a reality. She was rejected three times by her embassy before she was finally accepted via a lottery system on the fourth attempt. Five years after she had met the Miles', she was set to become their daughter in the U.S. Honorine arrived at a changing time in the Miles' lives. 

"She got here two days before my last home game as a coach," Danny Miles said. 

"It was very exciting to see all those many people and to see him coaching," Icyitegetse said.

One chapter of Danny's life was ending, but one was just getting started.

“Danny was going to have a void and we thought, ‘Well, what better opportunity than to open up our home and bring her in as a sixth child?’” Judie Miles remembers wondering.

It's been nearly three years since she arrived and Danny has taught Honorine how to drive a car while Judie has helped her with her English and with the cultural challenges of adjusting to life in a new country. She now has an IT job with Lithia Motors in Medford. Honorine is extremely grateful for the opportunity she's been given and after the despair of orphanhood, she has climbed out stronger than ever.

“I’m really feeling loved and that created something inside of me," Icyitegetse said, "I’m more confident than I used to be.”

Now, with Danny Miles, a Hall of Fame coach, and her mom, a Hall of Fame parent, she's reaching further than she ever has before.


“My vision is really growing and I see bigger than I used to see before," Icyitegetse said, "So, yeah, I see big and I’m just going toward that.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 133205

Reported Deaths: 1800
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28337458
Washington18644171
Marion16172238
Clackamas11642138
Lane8272108
Jackson689285
Umatilla676568
Deschutes495236
Yamhill318245
Malheur313152
Linn310846
Polk244640
Klamath242838
Josephine173533
Jefferson170225
Benton169514
Douglas167743
Union111416
Wasco107123
Columbia104318
Lincoln99117
Hood River95121
Coos93715
Morrow93310
Clatsop6865
Crook61010
Baker5685
Tillamook3652
Curry3245
Lake2305
Grant2131
Harney1754
Wallowa963
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2988326

Reported Deaths: 33589
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles101466213848
San Bernardino2512131560
Riverside2394122517
San Diego2117872103
Orange2108132367
Santa Clara926251065
Kern84644565
Fresno81294932
Sacramento791221080
Alameda66583757
Ventura60368412
San Joaquin56642748
Contra Costa51573446
Stanislaus42337739
Tulare40655501
Monterey35418250
San Mateo31805294
San Francisco28853254
Imperial25140463
Solano24732105
Santa Barbara24149231
Sonoma23607234
Merced23492296
Kings19125133
Placer16995173
San Luis Obispo15466128
Madera13193130
Santa Cruz12026113
Marin11482153
Yolo10406131
Shasta9594117
Butte9359121
El Dorado757544
Sutter756077
Napa735639
Lassen509413
San Benito488243
Yuba481827
Tehama397142
Tuolumne330438
Nevada314473
Mendocino307631
Amador298629
Lake250428
Humboldt229424
Glenn189419
Colusa16919
Calaveras159623
Siskiyou140813
Mono10834
Inyo92429
Del Norte8532
Plumas5735
Modoc3793
Mariposa3444
Trinity3024
Alpine730
Sierra700
Unassigned00
Medford
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 39°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 66°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 39°
Medford
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 39°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 40°
Dense morning fog with afternoon sunshine
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Monday, January 18 afternoon weather

Image

Medford School District Plans for the Future of the COVID-19 Vaccine

Image

Monday, January 18 morning weather

Image

Oregon State falls to No. 11 Arizona on the road, 67-51

Image

Weinermobile Story

Image

Car thief returns to scold mother

Image

MLK Day Virtual Event

Image

Jackson County reports 30 new cases

Image

Sunday, January 17th Evening Weather

Image

Medford School District Plans for the Future of the COVID-19 Vaccine