Alabama star freshman Brandon Miller will enter the NBA Draft 2023 after an excellent season in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, filled with controversy.
The SEC player of the year and newcomer of the year told ESPN on Thursday that his first year in 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 that he thanks «God, my family, my fans and all the coaches at the university of alabama.»
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It was a successful season for the Crimson Tide with Miller at the helm, although 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 a former teammate. Darius Miles’s gun, which was allegedly used in the shooting.
Miller’s attorney, Jim Standridge, issued a statement in February clarifying that the prominent freshman «never saw the gun» belonging to Miles, who has since been charged with capital murder in the shooting death of harris near the university campus in January.
«On January 14, Brandon played in an afternoon basketball game and was later asked by Darius Miles to drive him to the Strip area for 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 gun or touched it. Also, we understand the gun was hidden under some clothing in the backseat of his car. «.
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The statement added that instead of going into the nightclub, Miller went outside to go get food. Miles later contacted him to pick him up to go to a different location, and while he was already on his way, Miller received a text from Miles asking him to «bring him your firearm.»
Miller has not been charged with any crime and the university has said he is a cooperating witness, not a suspect.
Since Miller was not charged with any wrongdoing, the freshman continued to play, a move the university and head coach Nate Oats championed.
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«We’ve been taking it very seriously since day one. The first minute I got the information, I called [athletic director] greg [Byrne]and we talked about it and its seriousness,» oats said in february. «Greg, I thought, did a great job addressing those comments… and I really don’t have much to add.
«We feel like we’ve done the right thing in this case. So I’ll leave it at that with Greg’s comments.»
Miller is the No. 3 prospect in ESPN’s latest mock draft.