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Braxton Key Will Return to Alabama Men's Basketball Program for Sophomore Season...

on 5/24/2017

Crimson Tide Men's Basketball:

Alabama men's basketball rising sophomore Braxton Key has withdrawn his name from the upcoming NBA Draft and will return for the Crimson Tide's 2017-18 season, it was announced on Tuesday morning.

Key, a 6-7 forward, led Alabama in scoring as a true freshman, averaging 12.0 points per game for coach Avery Johnson and the Tide, on his way to earning a spot on the 2017 Southeastern Conference All-Freshman team.

The Charlotte, N.C., native also topped the team in minutes (29.8 mpg), while ranking second in assists (2.5 apg) and rebounding (5.7 rpg).

He became the first true freshman to lead Alabama in scoring since James "Hollywood" Robinson during the 1990-91 campaign.

"I spoke to Coach Avery 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. 

"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 Tide will return four starters and seven returning letterwinners 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 Tide this year after sitting out last year due to NCAA transfer rules.

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