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  • Writer's pictureKevin Scarbinsky

Wooden Award joins the rabid rush to judge Brandon Miller

There are things we know. These things are called facts. Some of you are interested in them and understand their value. There are other things we believe based on what we think we know. Those things are called opinions.

There are times when the distance between fact and opinion is so vast it becomes a void. Some of you have thrown Brandon Miller into that void. Short of facts. Long on opinion. With a reckless disregard for the truth behind a senseless tragedy.

In his 1963 "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Hang the banner in Coleman Coliseum. It has become the story of the 2022-2023 Alabama basketball season.

Here are some facts about this season, this team and its best player. That last observation, by the way, is an opinion based on fact.

Miller is the fourth player in the last 50 years to lead the SEC in scoring as a freshman. He is the only Division I player in the country to score 604 points, grab 249 rebounds and make 92 3-point shots this season. He is the No. 1 scorer and No. 2 rebounder on a team ranked No. 2 in the country that earned the SEC championship.

Here is another fact: Miller was not one of the 15 players named Saturday as a finalist for the Wooden Award, "presented annually to the outstanding collegiate basketball Player of the Year."

Here is an opinion: That decision was not based on facts. Some of you have cheered the news and argued that Miller is not eligible because one of the listed criteria is this: "Candidates must exhibit strength of character, both on and off the court."

Miller met that criteria Jan. 4 when the Wooden Award included him on its midseason watch list of 25 candidates. Eleven days later, Jamea Harris was shot to death in Tuscaloosa. Miller was there, sitting in his parked car. Two other bullets struck his windshield and could've taken his life.

Two men have been charged in the killing. Miller is not one of them. Beyond that, there is a serious shortage of facts regarding what he did and why he did it but an alarming abundance of opinions.

Did the Wooden Award's National Advisory Board change its opinion of Miller's character as a result of what happened that night? Based on what facts or evidence? Or was it something they heard? ...

Read the rest of Kevin's opinion on a disturbing, continuing rush to judgment. Only in The Lede.

Alabama's Brandon Miller tries to shoot over Auburn's Johni Broome in the Tide's March 1, 2023 overtime win.



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