Just two months ago, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers, and Thursday night Alabama sent another player to the Charlotte area when Brandon Miller was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with No. 2 overall in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Miller joins Antonio McDyess as the highest selection in program history as McDyess was also selected No. 2 overall in the 1995 draft by the Detroit Pistons. Over the past six years, Alabama has had three other first-round picks, and Miller is the first top 10 pick since Colin Sexton was selected No. 8 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018.

French forward Victor Wembanyama went No. 1 overall to the San Antonio Spurs, but Miller was the first college player taken in the 2023 draft.

In Miller’s only year for the Crimson Tide, he led Alabama to a regular season and conference tournament title while becoming the first player ever to win the SEC’s Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and SEC Tournament MVP in the same season. During his freshman season, Miller averaged a team-high 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, hitting 38.4% of his three-pointers.

While at Alabama, Miller put his name in the record books with 696 points, the second most by a Crimson Tide player in a single season trailing only Reggie King’s 1978-79 season of 747 points. Miller also recorded a team-high nine double-doubles while scoring in double figures in 34 of his 37 starts, including a 41-point game against South Carolina setting a career-high.

Miller will be paired up with 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball who averaged 23.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game last season, creating a talented young nucleus in Charlotte.

“That’s my guy,” Miller said of Ball during ESPN’s NBA draft coverage. “I think with Melo, as good of a point guard he is, I think I just kinda fit into place with him. I know he’s a great fit now that he has the most experience. I know he’s going to be a big brother for me away from home.”

Noah Clowney was also selected in the first round, going to the Brooklyn Nets with the No. 21 overall pick in the NBA Draft making him the second Alabama player to be selected in the first round. Clowney becomes Alabama’s fifth first-round selection in the past six years. With the selections of Miller and Clowney in the first round, this makes the first time since 1995 when Antonio McDyess was picked No. 2 overall by the Detroit Pistons and Jason Caffey went No. 20 overall to the Chicago Bulls, for Alabama to have two first-round selections in the NBA Draft.

Clowney averaged 9.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game while shooting 48.6% from the field over 36 starts in his freshman season. Clowney also was selected to the SEC All-Freshman Team scoring in double digits 14 times while recording three double-doubles.

While Clowney was not heavily recruited out of high school, his hard work and opportunity given by Alabama head coach Nate Oats led to his development and success that earned him a first-round draft selection in the 2023 NBA Draft.

"I was always overlooked, so when I finally did get an opportunity, I always worked hard," Clowney said during ESPN's draft coverage. "I was always going to work hard for any opportunity I did get, and it got me somewhere." 

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