2 Crimson Tide basketball players selected in first round for first time in 28 years


CW / David Gray

Former Alabama basketball players Brandon Miller (#24) and Charles Bediako (#14) celebrating a score against Mississippi State on March 10 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN.

Orry Cantrell, Contributing Writer

Thursday night’s NBA draft was a big night for Alabama basketball as three former Crimson Tide players earned a spot at the next level.  

Two players from the Capstone were selected in the first round for the first time since 1995 when Antonio McDyess and Jason Caffey were drafted at No. 2 and No. 20 respectively.   

 Brandon Miller (round 1, pick 2, Charlotte Hornets) 

Brandon Miller was selected second overall and is headed to Charlotte to pair with superstar LaMelo Ball. Miller joins Collin Sexton, Kira Lewis Jr. and Joshua Primo as the fourth Alabama player selected in the NBA draft lottery in the last six years.  

 Miller will be a great addition for the Hornets as they look to continue building and developing a strong young core. His shooting ability will pair well with Ball’s flashy passing ability. Fans can expect many highlight plays from this duo throughout the upcoming season.  

 Miller had a bold promise for Hornets fans. 

 “Y’all will see us at the end of the year holding that big trophy up,” he said. 

 It seems not all Hornets fans are on board with the pick, however, as several clips began to surface on social media of fans booing after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the team’s selection.  

 Miller is obviously confident that he can help this Hornets team win games. When asked what he will bring to the team, his immediate answer was “a winner.”  

“I’m willing to make all the winning plays, as far as on or off-the-court,” he said 

  After finishing next to last in the Eastern Conference last season with a record of 27-55, the Hornets need to win above all else. With the new additions of Miller and Arkansas’ Nick Smith Jr., the future is looking very bright in Charlotte.  

 Noah Clowney (round 1, pick 21, Brooklyn Nets) 

Noah Clowney ended up landing in Brooklyn toward the middle of the first round. This will be an interesting fit as the Nets look to enter a new era after the loss of stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.  

 Clowney will help add to the team’s strong defensive presence and will be a solid offensive option as he continues to work on his game. He will benefit from playing alongside Nets center Nic Claxton, a fourth-year player with a very similar game to Clowney’s.  

 Clowney will be one of the youngest players on a team full of veteran talent, which will contribute significantly to his growth and development as a player.  

 After arriving in Brooklyn on Friday, Clowney said fans haven’t seen the best of his game yet.  

 “I got a lot more to my game than what people have seen, but obviously I was playing with Brandon [Miller],” he said. “We didn’t need me to be another star on that team, so I played my role to help us win.”  

 On a Nets team without a clear-cut superstar, Clowney will have every opportunity to fully showcase his game and prove just how special he can be.  

 Charles Bediako (undrafted, San Antonio Spurs) 

Bediako did not hear his name called during this year’s NBA draft. However, he signed a one-year deal with the Spurs after the draft concluded. Bediako will join first-overall pick Victor Wembanyama on one of the youngest teams in the league with an average age of just 23.84 years old. 

 Bediako will need some time to adjust to the next level and develop his offensive game. He is in the best possible place to do so as there is no better coach to learn under than Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.