Top SMU Recruit Emmanuel Mudiay Is Skipping College to Play Pro Ball Overseas

Multiple outlets are reporting that Emmanuel Mudiay, the No. 1 rated high school basketball player in the country, will forego his commitment to play for Larry Brown at SMU and instead play at least one season of professional basketball overseas before heading to the NBA.

Mudiay has released the following statement to Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn:

"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. 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. I am grateful for Prime Prep coach [Ray] Forsett for developing me into the player and man that I am and I am also grateful for coach Brown's guidance and his support. This has nothing to do with my eligibility in any way."

It's an honorable explanation, providing for one's family, and probably a more honest use of Mudiay's skills -- plying them in exchange for money rather for free under the guise of attending school. It is, however, worth noting that prominent college players' parents usually get taken care of, one way or another.

Which brings us to that eligibility Mudiay mentions: It has been a lingering question, since Mudiay attended the Deion Sanders-founded charter school Prime Prep in Oak Cliff, which has had issues with the NCAA clearinghouse before.

Either way, we wish we had the chance to see some of this at Moody Coliseum next season:

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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young