Before they head off to SEC Rivals Arkansas and Alabama respectively, Bradley Beal Elite alum Nick Smith Jr. and Brandon Miller got in one more game as teammates, and fittingly considering the Jumpman threads they donned while with BBE, that game was the annual Jordan Brand Classic.
The Jordan Brand Classic, now in its 21st season, annually features 22 of the Top 100 high school senior hoopers in the nation on both the boys and girls sides. The games were actually played in 2022 for the first time in three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As one of Jordan Brand’s most high-profile NBA stars, Bradley Beal was in attendance at the game and got a front row seat to watch Nick, Brandon and the best of the rest on the boys and girls teams.
Brad himself participated in the Jordan Brand Classic back in 2011 and joined Paul Biancardi and Jason Ross Jr. on the broadcast during the game to drop some pearls of wisdom on the next generation.
“Just the transition of how much the game has grown, from when I played. These guys are super talented, way more athletic, faster, stronger. So just to see the evolution of the game is magnificent,” Brad said. “This is one of the most talented groups I’ve seen. It’s very surreal to see this talent level and this skillset. A lot of these guys have NBA ready bodies. My biggest message is don’t skip steps. Enjoy every moment of being out here with your peers. Enjoy college for however long you’re there. Enjoy the moment and continue to grow.”
2022 Jordan Brand Classic 🔥
Love to the @Jumpman23 fam!! pic.twitter.com/WUxMHGJcHS
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) April 18, 2022
Words from Bradley Beal!
-The profound impact of Rich Gray on his hie career.
-His mission for being involved in grassroots basketball?
-Playing against guys he has coached @BradBealElite! @RealDealBeal23 @JasonRossJr1 @ntsmith1402 pic.twitter.com/H2W1w2sTqY
— Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi) April 19, 2022
Brad had full embraced being involved being involved with grassroots basketball through BBE and noted the importance of that as he looks forward to playing against more and more BBE alums at the NBA level in the coming years.
“When I got to the league, I vowed to myself that I was going to make the transition of guys involved in grassroots smoother in terms of getting to college and getting into the league,” Brad said. “They’re the future. I’m playing my game, going into Year 11 next year and before you know it, I’m playing against a lot of my kids I’ve coached already and now I have two kids in this game, Nick Smith and Brandon Miller, who probably I could be playing against in another year-and-a-half.”
The duo of Nick and Brandon was paired together on Team Flight against Team Air, and although Team Air pulled out the victory, both Brandon and Nick played well.
Slow-motion look at Brandon Miller’s shooting mechanics. The 19-year-old Alabama-bound forward has an intriguing combination of size at 6-8, fluidity and shooting touch. pic.twitter.com/3H57PKEMVl
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) April 14, 2022
Nick Smith Jr. was the star today at the Jordan Brand Classic practice.
Smith Jr. is an athletic guard that can score the ball and make plays for others. Has a lightning quick first step and can get to the RACK.
Arkansas fans will LOVE this guy next year.pic.twitter.com/E6h7FUhmhY
— 24/7 High School Hoops (@247HSHoops) April 15, 2022
BRANDON MILLER!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/Awc3ZNP8li
— Cane Ridge Basketball (@CaneRidgeBBall) April 16, 2022
Nick Smith Jr. turning around as soon as the corner leaves his hand, sign of a true shooter. Arkansas commit has been really impressive at McDonald’s/JBC and could be a top-5 pick in 2023. pic.twitter.com/jj4PfsU8cV
— Ricky O'Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) April 16, 2022
A couple of Brandon Miller 3s from the Jordan Brand Classic. pic.twitter.com/tZOcCAvDiV
— Alabama Roundball (@BamaRoundball) April 17, 2022
In fact, Nick, who was recently written up by SLAM Magazine was named one of the game’s most valuable players after a 27-point performance.
Crown Nick Smith Jr. 👑 MVP of the 2022 Jordan Brand Classic! 🏆 @Jumpman23 pic.twitter.com/fE7wqz8KPg
— SLAM HS Hoops (@SLAM_HS) April 16, 2022
To say @PaulBiancardi was impressed with future Razorback Nick Smith Jr. during tonight’s Jordan Brand Classic would be an understatement. Smith & Dillion Mitchell named MVPs. #WPS pic.twitter.com/KyaNYM5ZL2
— Richard Davenport (@ArRecruitingGuy) April 16, 2022
Happy birthday Nick Smith Jr. @ntsmith1402 named Jordan Brand Classic MVP in Chicago 🏆 pic.twitter.com/4wczIMwUaz
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 18, 2022