More and more phenoms are going a different route in achieving their basketball dream.
The United States' top high school basketball prospect, Southern Methodist University Emmanuel Mudiay of Dallas, will skip college, hire an agent and take a job playing overseas, Yahoo! Sports broke the news. After the announcement, SMU coach Larry Brown confirmed the report that his top recruit will be honing his skills internationally.
"This is not an academic issue, since he has been admitted to SMU, but rather a hardship issue," Brown said in a statement.
The former NBA coach and champion believes that his ward would like to earn money overseas as he awaits eligibility to enter the NBA Draft. The NBA requires that players applying for the draft must be at least 19 years old and one year removed from high school.
Mudiay, a 6-foot-5 guard is rated as the best guard of the 2014 class and second best prospect behind Jahlil Okafor. His move is similar to the decision made by now Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings who also forego college to play in the Euroleague with Lottomatica Roma. Jennings was selected 10th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.
"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," Brown expanded on the matter through an e-mail. "While I believe that college is the best way to prepare for life and the NBA, Emmanuel's situation is unique."
Mudiay, a native of Zaire, attended Prime Prep Academy in Dallas. He is widely considered to be selected in the lottery area in the 2015 draft after averaging impressive number in high school at 16 points, six rebounds and four assists a game as a senior.
The Chinese Basketball Association has been reported by Yahoo! Sports as a possible destination for Mudiay.