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Sears using final year of eligibility to stay at Alabama

Steph Chambers / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Star guard Mark Sears will withdraw from the NBA draft and return to Alabama for his final year of eligibility, he told ESPN's Jonathan Givony.

"I got good feedback from the NBA," Sears said Wednesday. "But I can still get better in a few areas. I want to show I am a dog on defense next season, continue to bring vocal leadership, and work on my body and get into better shape.

"NIL has changed basketball, and NBA teams told me that age isn't a factor in today's game, so I was comfortable coming back to try and bring home a national championship to Alabama."

Sears led the Crimson Tide to the Final Four last season, losing to UConn in the national semifinal. The 22-year-old second-team All-American improved his game during the Big Dance, averaging 24.2 points on 53.2% field goal shooting, along with 5.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.

"I've gotten better every year, and next season won't be any different," Sears said. "I got a taste of the Final Four, and now I want to finish it off and bring it home."

Alabama stayed active in bolstering its roster, securing transfer commitments from center Cliff Omoruyi (Rutgers), guard Aden Holloway (Auburn), wing Chris Youngblood (USF), and guard Houston Mallette (Pepperdine).

The Crimson Tide are also bringing in a talented 2024 recruiting class, including five-star forward Derrion Reid and four-star prospects Aiden Sherrell, Labaron Philon, and Naas Cunningham.

Along with the new talent, Alabama secured returns from March Madness star Grant Nelson and Latrell Wrightsell, who averaged 16.3 points in the 2022-23 season.

"I'm very excited about the team we have coming in," Sears said. "I will have to do a good job of leading these guys in the right direction. I'm confident we can win the national championship."

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