The University of Alabama men’s basketball team put in the final piece of the 2017-18 roster puzzle on Tuesday as rising sophomore Braxton Key announced that he has withdrawn his name from the upcoming NBA Draft.
Key had worked out for a possibility of entering into a professional career after leading Alabama in scoring last season, but did not retain an agent. He said via a UA release on Tuesday that he had finalized his decision on Monday morning when he filed the necessary paperwork to withdraw with the NBA office.
A 2017 SEC All-Freshman team selection, Key also led the team in minutes played (29.8 mpg), while ranking second in assists (2.5 apg) and rebounding (5.7 rpg).
“I spoke to coach Avery Johnson just over a week ago and informed him of my decision to withdraw my name from the NBA Draft and return to the University of Alabama for my sophomore season,” Key said in a UA graphic release. “I made that official when I sent my paperwork to the NBA league office Monday morning. I want to express my appreciation to my teammates, Coach Johnson and the entire coaching staff for giving me their full support while I went through this process. I am excited for the future of the Alabama basketball program and looking forward to getting to work as we prepare for next season. Roll Tide and Buckle Up!”
With the return of Key, the Crimson Tide will return four starters from last season’s 19-15 squad that reached the National Invitation Tournament. In addition, Alabama welcomes the nation’s fifth-ranked recruiting class for the 2017-18 campaign, while sophomore transfer Daniel Giddens, who transferred from Ohio State prior to the 2016-17 season, will be eligible to suit up for the Crimson Tide this year after sitting out last year due to NCAA transfer rules.
All UA players for the upcoming season are expected to report for summer workouts by Memorial Day. Transfer Tevin Mack, who committed to UA last week and will sit out the upcoming season, is expected to report later this summer.
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