Alabama basketball guard Mark Sears enters NBA Draft

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama basketball guard Mark Sears has become the latest Crimson Tide player to enter his name in the NBA Draft. He announced his decision Saturday to declare for the draft while maintaining his eligibility.

He will go through the process, get feedback but can still return to the Crimson Tide. That is the most likely outcome for the junior guard. The NBA Draft is scheduled for June 22 and the NCAA early entry withdrawal deadline is May 31.

Sears is fresh off his first season with Alabama. A native of Muscle Shoals, Sears joined the Crimson Tide via the transfer portal. He spent his first two seasons at Ohio University.

In announcing his decision, Sears thanked God, his family and Ohio and Alabama.

"To Ohio and Alabama, thank you for affording me the opportunity to do what I love," Sears wrote on Instagram. "Being on each team has allowed me to grow and continue to develop my skills to become the player that I am today. Coach Oats, thank you for giving me the gift of returning home to play at Alabama! To the fans, thank you for all of the support you've given me and my teammates."

Sears made an impact in his first season in Tuscaloosa. He earned a spot on the All-SEC second team, as voted by the conference's coaches. He was second on the Crimson Tide with 12.5 points per game. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals.

Sears struggled some late in the season as he went through a bit of a shooting slump, but he remained a member of the starting lineup nonetheless because of other qualities he brought.

Sears did have some big games for Alabama during the regular season. In a win against Arkansas on the road, he tallied 26 points and three steals. He also had a 24-point game with five rebounds against North Carolina in the four-overtime game.

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Sears joins Brandon Miller, Noah Clowney, Charles Bediako and Jahvon Quinerly in declaring for the 2023 NBA Draft. All can return to Alabama, but Miller and Clowney are not expected to do so. Bediako, Quinerly and Sears could certainly return, though.

Meanwhile, Jaden Bradley and Nimari Burnett have entered the transfer portal.

Rylan Griffen and Nick Pringle are the only two eligible returners who haven't said they will enter the draft or the transfer portal.

Much of the 2023-24 roster is still to be determined, but Alabama has four freshman set to join as well as Jaykwon Walton, a transfer from Wichita State.

The Crimson Tide will likely turn to the transfer portal to fill out the remaining scholarships.