None and Done: SMU Recruit Opts to Skip College for Overseas Pro League
Emmanuel Mudiay, one of college basketball's top recruits, has announced that he is going to skip college and jump straight into the pros in order to help his financially struggling mother.
Mudiay was supposed to be attending Southern Methodist University this year to play for the Mustangs but now he will sit out a year and jump into the NBA Draft in 2015. In the meantime, as reported by Yahoo! News, he intends to play overseas.
It is reported that Mudiay is considering signing on with the Chinese Basketball Association for a year while waiting to become eligible for the NBA Draft.
In a statement released to Sports Illustrated, Mudiay reported that this was a matter of money, not academics.
"I was excited about going to SMU and playing college basketball for coach Larry Brown and his staff and preparing for the NBA, but I was tired of seeing my mom struggle," Mudiay said in his statement. "After sitting down with my coach, coach Brown, and my family, we decided that the best way for me to provide for my mom is to forgo college and pursue professional basketball opportunities."
SMU coach Larry Brown released a statement of his own insisting that this was an economic rather than an academic eligibility decision.
Emmanuel Mudiay 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.
Mudiay says his mother, Therese Kabeya, an aide in a nursing home, is struggling. She brought him and his brothers to the United States in 2001 to avoid a civil war in their native Zaire and has worked hard ever since to make ends meet. His father died when Mudiay was just a child.
"He wanted to go to school, bad," Prime Prep coach Ray Forsett said. "But there comes a time in life when we have to do things to help our family.... Him and his family decided to go this route so they could live better and make it on a day-to-day basis."
"He wasn’t trying to be selfish. He’s a great kid. He’s trying to put it on his shoulders to make sure his family is fine."
Mudiay earned quite a record in his varsity high school career having been named both the SportsDayHS.com player of the year (2014) and the newcomer of the year (2011).
The young man won two state titles and averaged 16 points, six rebounds, and four assists as a senior.
Photo credit: Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News
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