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North Dakota added for the next three seasons

The Alabama basketball team has expanded its non-league schedule for the 2024–25 season and beyond.

The Crimson Tide will face North Dakota on Dec. 18, UND announced Thursday, and the Fighting Hawks will then travel to Tuscaloosa each of the next two seasons.

The first meeting will mark a return home for returning starter Grant Nelson, who hails from Devils Lake, North Dakota. He played for North Dakota State before transferring to Alabama.

“When Grant Nelson decided to return to Alabama, Coach (Jamie) Stevens immediately reached out to see if they would be interested in bringing Grant back to his home state for a game, and to Coach Oats' credit, they jumped at the chance,” UND head basketball coach Paul Sather said in a statement. “It's not often that a potential top-five team comes to Grand Forks. It should be a great environment and opportunity to play against a great team on our home court.”

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Alabama has a chance to be the top-ranked team to start the season. Its 2024-25 roster includes returning players Jarin Stevenson, Mark Sears, Nelson, Latrell Wrightsell Jr. and Mo Dioubate. Meanwhile, Oats and Co. have also signed several players; Rutgers star Cliff Omoruyi is the headliner of the new additions. He will give Alabama the basket protector it didn't have last season; he's joined by Houston Mallette (Pepperdine), Chris Youngblood (USF) and Aden Holloway (Auburn). Alabama also signed freshmen Derrion Reid, Aiden Sherrell, Naas Cunningham and Labaron Philon.

North Dakota, meanwhile, is coming off an 18-14 season and finished third in the Summit League.

Nick Kelly is the Alabama reporter for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network, covering Alabama football and men's basketball. Reach him at nkelly@gannett.com or follow @_NickKelly on X, the social media app formerly known as Twitter.

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