Basketball Losing Mitchell, Hankerson

To the surprise of almost no one, Tony Mitchell will not return to the Alabama basketball team after his troubled junior season. Just as big a surprise, neither will upcoming junior Charles Hankerson, who had been considered one of the most improved players for the Crimson Tide last year.

Alabama Coach Anthony Grant wished both players well and also gave them release from their scholarships, so they could sign with another team for next season (though have to sit out a year if a major college).

Alabama also lost JaMychal Green this year as Green completed his eligibility. Bama has at least three scholarships to award in the spring signing period that begins later this month.

Tony Mitchell was suspended late in the season, a suspension that was extended for all remaining games. He had been projected as a possible all-star for the Tide, particularly after being Most Valuable Player as the Tide won the San Juan Classic in Puerto Rico. He was also a favorite of television for his spectacular slam dunks.

Charles Hankerson received a lot of credit from Grant and from other Bama players for the effort he made last summer and in the pre-season to make himself a viable part of the Crimson Tide rotation.

"We're appreciative of the contributions they've made to our program and we wish them nothing but the absolute best as they pursue the next chapter of their lives and careers," Grant said.

Hankerson played in 56 games and averaged 3.0 points per game during his two seasons. Mitchell saw action in 89 games for the Tide while averaging 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game over the past three seasons.

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