Fifth Alabama Basketball Player Declares for NBA Draft
Saturday, Alabama's star transfer guard Mark Sears announced that he would be retaining an NCAA certified agent to test the waters of the NBA Draft. The announcement makes Sears the fifth player from the Crimson Tide's No. 1 overall NCAA Tournament seeded 2022-2023 roster to do so, and the third to do so while maintaining his collegiate eligibility, along with Charles Bediako and Jahvon Quinerly.
"I would like to thank God for blessing me with an amazing gift that has allowed me to play the game that I love, basketball. This blessing has provided innumerable opportunities and I am truly appreciative of God's blessings, lessons, and provisions along the way," said Sears in his Saturday announcement.
"Family, I love every one of you who has been a consistent support system throughout my basketball career. Thank you for your continuous support, prayers, and words of encouragement. I would like to thank my parents, especially my dad, for teaching me mental toughness, strong work ethic, and discipline. To the both of my parents, thank you for believing in me and making countless sacrifices to support me."
"To Ohio and Alabama, thank you for affording me the opportunity to do what 1 love! 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."
"After much consideration and deliberation, I have decided to declare for the 2023 NBA Draft while maintaining my college eligibility."
Sears was the only member of the Tide's historic team that hails from the state of Alabama. The Muscle Shoals native averaged nearly 30 minutes on the floor a game and was one of the team's top scorers. He averaged 12.5 points, 2.6 assists, and 3.5 rebounds a game while shooting over 40% from the field and 34.5% from beyond the arc. He also recorded 2 double-doubles and stayed out of foul trouble, averaging less than two per game and only fouling out once.
Losing Sears to the draft would be a massive hit to the Tide, who is already looking to replace all three assistant coaches, its leading scorer, and its third leading scorer. Sears was the second leading scorer all year and the other two still-eligible players exploring the draft, Bediako and Quinerly, were the fourth and fifth leading scorers respectively.