Alabama freshman star Brandon Miller will enter the 2023 NBA Draft after a superb season in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, filled with controversy.
The player of the year and the newcomer of the year in the SEC told ESPN Thursday his first year at Alabama will be his last.
Miller led all freshmen in scoring, averaging 18.8 points while leading Alabama to the SEC regular season and tournament title.
Miller told ESPN he thanks “God, my family, my fans and all the coaches at the University of Alabama.”
TIMBERWOLVES’ RUDY GOBERT THINKS OFFICIALS MAKE CALLS TO HELP OTHER TEAMS: ‘JUST SO OBVIOUS’
It was a successful season for the Crimson Tide with Miller leading the way, though it was one in which Miller faced a great deal of public scrutiny.
Miller was linked to the January shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris after police testimony alleged he transported former teammate Darius Miles’ gun, which was allegedly used in the shooting.
Miller’s attorney, Jim Standridge, released a statement in February clarifying that the freshman standout “never saw the handgun” belonging to Miles, who has since been charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Harris near the university’s campus in January.
“On January 14th, Brandon played in a basketball game in the afternoon and later was asked by Darius Miles for a ride to the Strip area to go to a nightclub,” the statement said, via the Tuscaloosa Patch.
“Mr. Miles brought his legal handgun and left it in the backseat of Brandon’s vehicle. Brandon never saw the handgun nor handled it. Further, it is our understanding that the weapon was concealed under some clothing in the back seat of his car.”
The statement added that instead of going inside the nightclub, Miller left to go get food. He was later contacted by Miles to pick him up and go to a different location, and while he was already on the way, Miller received a text from Miles asking him “to bring him his firearm.”
Miller has not been charged with a crime, and the university has said he is a cooperating witness, not a suspect.
Since Miller was not charged with a crime, the freshman continued to play, a move the university and head coach Nate Oats defended.
“We’ve been taking it very seriously from day one. The first minute that I got the information, I called [athletic director] Greg [Byrne], and we talked about it and the severity of it,” Oats said in February. “Greg, I thought, did a great job addressing those comments …, and I really don’t have much to add to it.
“We feel like we’ve done the right thing in this case. So I’m going to leave it at that with Greg’s comments.”
Miller is the No. 3 prospect on ESPN’s latest mock draft.
Source: Fox News