Alabama freshman Brandon Miller walked to practice on Wednesday next to armed security, two months after his link in a deadly shooting.
The guard was wearing an Alabama shirt courtside during the practice at Legacy Arena in Birmingham.
Miller was a witness to the murder of a 23-year-old woman near the Alabama campus after he transported the weapon used.
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“If you guys saw some of what I’ve seen sent his way, I think you would understand why that’s the case,” Alabama coach Nate Oats explained. “I don’t want to get into all that. The entire situation, as you know, is just a heartbreaking situation on all accounts.”
Miller didn’t go into specifics about the guard.
I always travel with security to all the games,” he said. “That’s all I’m gonna say on that.”
Oats added: “Some of the messages from people that can sit behind fake email addresses, but who knows whether they’re real or not. But if you’d seen what I’ve seen, you would understand what’s going on right now.”
Ex-Bama basketball player Darius Miles legally owned the gun and had previously left it in Miller’s car. Miller drove it to Miles who then allegedly gave it to Michael Davis who is accused of firing the fatal shot.
Miller’s link to the shooting was not revealed for over a month afterward. However, he has remained out of legal trouble, and police have said there is nothing they can charge him with. Both Miles and Davis have been charged with capital murder.
Because of that, Miller has not missed any time, a move the university and Oats have continuously 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 last month. “Greg, I thought, did a great job addressing those comments on Wednesday, 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 drew further criticism shortly after the revelation for continuing his pat-down ritual during pregame lineup announcements. Oats, though, said the pat-down would no longer occur.
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Miller recently was named the SEC Player of the Year and the tournament’s MVP. He is expected to be a top-five NBA Draft pick this summer, and some believe he can go as high as No. 2.