Prime Prep basketball star Emmanuel Mudiay will play professionally overseas instead of at SMU.
Mudiay told Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn he left SMU to provide for his mother.
"I was excited about going to SMU and playing college basketball for coach Brown and his staff and preparing for the NBA. But I was tired of seeing my mom struggle. And after sitting down with coach Brown and my family we decided that the best way for me to provide for my mom was to forgo college and pursue professional basketball opportunities," Mudiay said in a statement provided to Sports Illustrated.
SMU basketball coach Larry Brown confirmed Mudiay’s departure from SMU in a statement, saying academics isn’t why Mudiay left.
“Emmanuel has decided to pursue professional basketball opportunities. This is not an academic issue, since he has been admitted to SMU, but rather a hardship issue. After talking to Emmanuel, I know he really wants to alleviate some of the challenges his family faces and recognizes that he has an opportunity to help them now. While I believe that college is the best way to prepare for life and the NBA, Emmanuel's situation is unique. We were excited about having him at SMU, but we understand this decision and wish him the best.”
ESPN reported that Mudiay became concerned about amateurism issues with the NCAA and worried he might not be cleared to play.
Mudiay was considered the No. 1 guard in this year’s freshman class and was a huge get for Brown and SMU. He is also considered to be a potential lottery pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Brown’s team was one of the top stories in college basketball last season. In just his second season on the Hilltop, Brown’s squad went 27-10 and made the National Invitation Tournament final in New York after being snubbed for an NCAA Tournament bid.
SMU returns all but two players from that team for the upcoming 2014-15 season. With Mudiay, some basketball writers had SMU pegged as a preseason Top 10 team.
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