Alabama’s Brandon Miller calls fatal shooting ‘heartbreaking’
Alabama basketball star Brandon Miller spoke to reporters on Wednesday for the first time since his alleged role in a shooting that killed a young mother went public.
Miller, one of the most talented college basketball players in the country and a potential lottery pick in the NBA Draft, was found by police for bringing to teammate Darius Miles and Miles’ associate Michael Lynn Davis the gun used in the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris in Tuscaloosa.
Miller was not charged with any crime in the incident.
Miller and teammate Jahvon Quinerly appeared on Wednesday along with Alabama head coach Nate Oats at a press conference at the SEC tournament in Nashville.
“I never lose sight of the fact that a family lost one of their loved ones that night,” Miller said
“This whole situation is just heartbreaking. With all due respect, that’s all I can say about it.”
Miller turned down a question about people saying they shouldn’t be playing for Alabama after this incident.
“I just lean on my teammates,” Miller replied. “We just go places to get wins.”
Miller said he was aware of chants such as “Lock him up!”, heard in the crowd at a road race at Texas A&M.
“We hear the chants,” Miller said. “I feel like we really just lean on each other to go to places like that and get some tough wins.”
When asked what he would say to teams in the NBA for whom he is being considered at the top of the upcoming draft, Miller remained focused on the present.
“I can’t really say anything about what they get,” he said. “I just control what I can control now. Go to Nashville and get victories.
“I want to be remembered as a champion,” he said in response to a question about what he hopes for his legacy.
“I know JQ [Jahvon Quinerly] has a [2021 SEC tournament championship] calling under his name. … I feel like I can go to Nashville and win another ring. I think that’s the most important thing for us. I want to be known as a winning team.”
While Miller heightened the controversy when a teammate faked knocking him down for a gun upon entering players in a game against Arkansas, Alabama head coach Nate Oats expressed satisfaction with how Miller handled the whole situation.
“I’ll be honest with you: he’s taken this whole situation very seriously from day 1,” the coach said.
“It is a difficult situation for all of us. It’s just sad, to be honest. But I never thought Brandon was flippant about it, ever. As far as off track goes, not necessarily major changes, but I didn’t think major changes were needed.
“He’s a great kid, we all go through a tough situation together and just try to lean on each other.”