Brandon Austin shines in Sixers workout
Brandon Austin has denied the two separate sexual assault accusations, and he was not charged with a crime in either case.
But the former Imhotep Charter basketball standout has dealt with the public perception that goes with being dismissed from Providence College and Oregon amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
The Providence incident occurred in the fall of 2013 during his freshman year. Then, during the summer of 2014, a second incident happened at Oregon.
"Everything was consensual. I didn't do anything wrong," Austin said Thursday after his NBA predraft workout with the 76ers.
"The intention wasn't wrong," he said. "I just made a mistake. A lot of people make mistakes. I just grew from it, and I continue to [grow] today."
The 6-foot-7 point guard did his best to display that growth to the Sixers at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He will try to do the same during workouts with the Toronto Raptors on Monday and the New York Knicks next Friday.
He wants teams to know "I'm a good kid and that my intentions are never bad," Austin said. "I may have [made] a few mistakes in the past. But I'm grown as a person, and I'm still standing to this day."
Austin made a solid impression Thursday. The 22-year-old was by far the best shooter in the portion of the workout that was open to the media. Austin made threes, mid-range jumpers and maneuvered past defenders en route to scoring layups.
He also had a nice feed to French shooting guard Isaia Cordinier on a fast break.
"You saw today he is certainly a talent," Marc Eversley, the Sixers vice president of player personnel, said of the Philly native. "He's got great size. He can handle it. He can make plays, and he does a really nice job finishing at the rim."
Austin's weaknesses are his slender frame and defensive awareness. Those are things he's working on this summer, he said.
He played professionally last season for two months with the Orangeville A's of the National Basketball League of Canada. Austin last played in college in 2014-15, leading Northwest Florida State to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I championship.
He signed with Providence out of high school and shortly afterward shattered his dreams of playing Division I basketball with his separate incidents.
"It made me mentally stronger," Austin said. "I had a lot of things bad said about me. I had to keep pushing and keep believing in myself when everybody stopped believing."
Since Austin probably won't get drafted due to his situation, he'll most likely sign a summer-league contract with a team and then try to prove himself next season in the NBA Development League.
"It was a tough time, but I know myself," Austin said. "Every day I deal with myself. When I brush my teeth in the morning and my hair, I have to deal with myself as a man. It was some tough shots thrown at me. But I have to do in it in a professional way early in my career."
Point guard Alex Caruso (Texas A&M), shooting guard Daniel Hamilton (Connecticut) and power forwards Alex Poythress (Kentucky) and Rosco Allen (Stanford/Hungary) joined Austin and Cordinier in the workout.
Cordinier was the only player who likely has a shot to get drafted in the first round.