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Top high school basketball recruit spurns SMU, to play overseas instead

By Leighton Schneider,

One of the nation’s top ranked players, Emmanuel Mudiay, has decided to forgo his college eligibility and will go play professional basketball overseas.

Mudiay, the number five overall recruit, according to the 2014 ESPN 100, was committed to go to Southern Methodist University in Texas, but decided it was better for his family if he played professionally now, instead of in a year when he would be eligible for the NBA draft.

Mudiay’s brother Stephane, told Sports Illustrated that Mudiay wanted to play in college, but he didn’t want his mother to struggle financially anymore. He, his family, and SMU coach Larry Brown decided it was best for him to go pro now.

Mudiay played for Prime Prep Academy in Dallas, which has had several athletes ruled ineligible by the NCAA in the past couple of years.

Coach Brown said that Mudiay’s leaving was not an academic issue, but instead it was about his family.

Mudiay was the top recruit for SMU, which had the 33rd ranked class this year according to ESPN.

Mudiay isn’t the first highly coveted recruit to go pro instead of college. In 2008, Brandon Jennings was committed to Arizona, but passed on them for a team in the Italian league when he had academic eligibility issues.

Mudiay is leaning toward China or Europe, according to those close to him.

 

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