Another transfer may be joining the University of Miami basketball team, and this one has a famous uncle.
Alabama sophomore Braxton Key, the nephew of former NBA great Ralph Sampson, announced two weeks ago he is leaving the Crimson Tide program. He is scheduled to visit UM on Thursday and Friday, a source confirmed. On Wednesday, he visited the University of Virginia, where his uncle was a star and played for UM coach Jim Larranaga, who was a Cavaliers assistant at the time.
Key, 6-8, started 17 games last season after missing the first 10 with a knee injury. He averaged seven points and 5.3 rebounds per game. The previous year, he was named to the Southeastern Conference all-Freshman team after leading the Tide in scoring with 12 points and 5.7 rebounds.
A four-star recruit coming out of high school, he attended Christ Presbyterian (Nashville, TN) before transferring to Oak Hill Academy for his senior season. He was recruited by Alabama, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas, Vanderbilt and Virginia.
The Roanoke Times reported that Key visited Charlottesville on Wednesday. He would have two years of eligibility left, and would have to sit out next season per NCAA transfer rules.
He posted his decision to transfer on Twitter on April 20.
Three other players have transferred into UM this off-season.
Former Norland High star Zach Johnson is coming home for his final year of college basketball. Johnson, who is scheduled to graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University this summer, will be eligible right away.
The Hurricanes also signed Oklahoma sophomore Kameron McGusty and Wyoming freshman Anthony Mack.
The three new players will help fill the void caused by the graduation of Ja’Quan Newton and the departures of Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker IV to the NBA Draft. Dewan Huell, a former teammate of Johnson’s at Norland, also entered his name into the draft, but did not hire an agent, leaving open the option of returning to the Hurricanes.
Johnson, 6-2, was a three-year starter for the Eagles after sitting out his freshman year for an undisclosed medical reason. He averaged 16.1 points per game last season and scored 37 in the Eagles’ Atlantic Sun Championship game loss to Lipscomb.
He chose Miami over Louisville, Creighton and Arizona.
McGusty started 25 games for the Sooners over two seasons and averaged 9.4 points. He also considered Houston and Virginia Tech. He averaged 17 points as a freshman, but just eight points as a sophomore due to the emergence of freshman Trae Young. McGusty would sit out the 2018-19 Hurricanes season per NCAA transfer rules, and have two years of eligibility left.
Mack, who sat out his first season with concussion issues, will be reunited with high school teammate Deng Gak, who redshirted with Miami.