July 23, 2014 Louisville, KY.
On August 24, 2013, SMU and hall of fame coach Larry Brown received some huge news from one of the élite prospects of the class of 2014. 6’5 195 pound Emmanuel Mudiay from Arlington Texas shocked the recruiting nation and chose to play his college ball with SMU over Kentucky.
On July 14, 2014 Emmanuel Mudiay decided to forego college for a year to pursue money overseas in hopes to be drafted in the NBA in 2015. Coach Larry Brown released this statement afterwards: “Emmanuel Mudiay has decided to pursue professional basketball opportunities,” Brown said in a statement. “This is not an academic issue, since he has been admitted to SMU, but rather a hardship issue,” Brown said in a statement. “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.”
8 days later on July 22, Emmanuel signs a 1.2 million contract to play for Guangdong of the China Basketball Association. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this decision, as Mudiay felt to need to help the hardship his family was facing. Upcoming Elite Prospects will have their eyes on Emmanuel Mudiay to see how well he does in China this year.
The European Route didn’t work for the Brandon Jennings and Jeremy Tyler’s of the world, so it will be interesting to see how much of an impact Mudiay can make in a years time in China. If Mudiay’s year goes well, this may set a trend for future élite prospects to follow. NBA
Commissioner Adam Silver can put an end to this possible trend by forcing the NBA to go to 2 years removed from high school, instead of the current rule of one. Will Future Prospects Follow Mudiay? Only time will tell.