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The SEC and beyond


Never have I been a big pro-sports fan, especially pro-football.

I once told my husband I didn’t think I could enjoy covering NFL games  the way I do high school and college games because it was just so different. He told me a new way of looking at it that. He said pro-sports was a way of following my favorite college players once they move on to a professional team.

Being an Alabama fan, I have a lot of alumni to keep up with in pro-football, but a lot less in pro-basketball. Since meeting my husband, I have become an NBA fan for the first time.

Luckily, one Alabama alum is being looked at by one of my favorite teams. The Boston Celtics recently added Levi Randolph to their training camp roster.

Randolph made his NBA debut in the summer league, playing with both the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz. After landing a starting position among several top draft picks, Randolph reportedly turned down several overseas offers to join the Celtics in training camp.

Although he does not have a guaranteed spot on the team, Randolph still has a chance of being added to the Maine Red Claws roster, an NBA Development League affiliate of the Celtics.

According to my research, Randolph would make the 27th Alabama basketball alum to be drafted into the NBA if he’s lucky, whereas there are currently over 50 Alabama football alums in the NFL.

Obviously, Alabama is better known for their football program than their basketball program, but it’s nice to see some of the Crimson Tide moving up to the NBA as well.

Randolph could join former teammate JaMychal Green in the NBA, who was signed a multi-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this year. Green was one of the top prospects from his spot withthe Austin Spurs in the NBA Development League and was named the NBA D-League Player of the Month.

Seeing a familiar face on television always gives me a sense of pride for my alma mater, just as I’m sure Auburn fans loved watching Bo Jackson, Georgia fans loved watching Herschel Walker, Florida State Fans loved watching Deion Sanders and LSU fans loved watching Shaquille O’Neal.

Fortunate for all of us SEC fans, SEC sports of all kinds are noted for producing professional athletes. Hopefully, if we can’t see one of our favorite school’s former stars being successful in professional sports, then we can be happy seeing a fellow SEC player doing well.

Of course, not all SEC players will go on to succeed in professional sports, but SEC players do seem to have an advantage after they have played some of the most competitive teams in the country.

I’m sure the SEC will continue to produce more professional athletes, and I look forward to the upcoming sports season to see which SEC players start making their ability known.

Joy Haynes is a staff writer for the Hartselle Enquirer.