Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Prized incoming freshman Emmanuel Mudiay has decided to play professionally overseas instead of joining the SMU program for the upcoming 2014-15 season.
Mustangs head coach Larry Brown confirmed Mudiay's intentions on Monday, which he said were made to help support the Dallas native's family.
"Emmanuel has decided to pursue professional basketball opportunities," said Brown in a statement. "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."
Mudiay, a 6-foot-5 point guard, was ranked No. 2 overall among the 2014 recruiting class by Rivals.com and fifth in ESPN's top 100. The 18-year-old also had been viewed as a potential No. 1 overall choice in the 2015 NBA Draft.
"While I believe that college is the best way to prepare for life and the NBA, Emmanuel's situation is unique," said Brown. "We were excited about having him at SMU, but we understand this decision and wish him the best."
Mudiay's commitment was considered a major coup for the long-struggling SMU program, which hasn't reached the NCAA Tournament since 1993 but advanced to the NIT Finals under Brown this past season.