Alabama freshman Brandon Miller dropped a career-best of 41 points in the Crimson Tide’s thrilling overtime victory over South Carolina on Wednesday night, just hours after his lawyer clarified his ties to the deadly shooting of Jamea Harris.
Miller’s attorney, Jim Standridge, released a statement hours before tipoff clarifying that the freshman standout “never saw the handgun” belonging to former teammate Darius Miles, who has since been charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Harris near the university’s campus in January.
“On January 14th, Brandon played in a basketball game in the afternoon and later was asked by Darius Miles for a ride to the Strip area to go to a nightclub,” the statement read, via the Tuscaloosa Patch.
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“Mr. Miles brought his legal handgun and left in the backseat of Brandon’s vehicle. Brandon never saw the handgun nor handled it. Further it is our understanding that the weapon was concealed under some clothing in the back seat of his car.”
The statement went on to say that instead of going inside the nightclub, Miller left to go get food. He was later contacted by Miles to pick him up and go to a different location and while he was already on the way, Miller received a text from Miles asking him “to bring him his firearm.”
Miller’s attorney claimed that he never “interacted with anyone in Ms. Harris’ party” or Michael Lynn Davis, who is also charged with capital murder. He also disputed a claim that Miller’s vehicle blocked the path of the car that Harris was a passenger in at the time of the shooting.
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His car was struck by bullets, but Miller’s attorney said that “he has fully cooperated with law enforcement’s investigation” and the events described were captured on video.
The statement followed testimony on Tuesday that alleged that Miller transported the gun used in the deadly shooting.
Alabama released a statement shortly after confirming that Miller is “an active member of our team,” clearing the way for him to play in Wednesday night’s game.
“Based on all the information we have received, Brandon Miller is not considered a suspect in this case, only a cooperative witness. Today’s statement from Brandon’s lawyer adds additional context that the University has considered as part of its review of the facts. Based on all of the facts we have gathered, Brandon remains an active member of our team.”
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Miller faced hecklers from the student section who chanted, “Lock him up,” and “Guilty!” several times throughout the night, but it did not stop one of college basketball’s top players from scoring a career-high 41 points, including the go-ahead basket with 0.9 seconds left in overtime to win the game 78-76.
Miller’s performance marked the first 40-point night for an Alabama player since 2017.
“It’s what they’ve done their whole lives and let some of the outside stuff out of their mind,” head coach Nate Oats said after the game. “I thought Brandon did a great job really getting himself mentally ready to play.”
“It could’ve been a distraction. But Brandon showed up.”
Oats released a statement Tuesday night clarifying his remarks after facing backlash for initially saying that Miller was in the “wrong place at the wrong time.” He doubled down on his apology Wednesday night.
“I’m not here to make excuses, but I want to make it clear I didn’t have the details from the hearing that morning since I was coming straight from practice,” Oats said. “I used a poor choice of words, making it appear I wasn’t taking this tragic situation seriously, which we have throughout the course of it. I sincerely apologize for that.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.