Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Emmanuel Mudiay to SMU; Will Play With Brother (UPDATED)
NEW YORK — As expected, Emmanuel Mudiay announced he would play for Larry Brown and SMU during halftime of the Elite 24 game here in Brooklyn Saturday night.
The 6-foot-5 Mudiay out of Dallas (TX) Prime Prep picked SMU over bluebloods like Kentucky and Kansas, along with Baylor and Oklahoma State; he said after the game that Kentucky was his second choice.
Jean Micheal Mudiay, Emmanuel’s older (middle) brother and an athletic 6-5 wing at Western Texas College, will also join the SMU program on scholarship, something that Emmanuel is excited about.
“It should be real, real fun,” Mudiay (at left in picture) told SNY.tv. “I’ve always wanted to play with him, I’ve always looked up to him, so it’s going to be fun.”
The Mudiays emigrated from the war-torn African nation of the Congo, and ultimately settled in Texas.
Emmanuel says Jean Micheal “is real good. He’s the most athletic one in my family, so throwing ‘oops to him should be fun.”
Brown, the only man to win NBA and NCAA titles, had a lot to do with Mudiay’s decision.
“Well, you know he’s a Hall of Fame Coach,” he told ESPNU. “He’s coached Hall of Fame players and one day I want to be able to play in the NBA. He’s coached at the highest level so I can learn a lot from him. That’s where my hearts set. I’ve got a real respect for him.”
Emmanuel Mudiay and 2013 commit Keith Frazier, a shooting guard, give SMU a very talented backcourt going forward into the American Athletic Conference.
“With Keith Frazier, it should be fun,” he said. “They coming up, SMU is, and I picked them because I want to help elevate that school, make history.”
Mudiay said he wanted to pave his own path, as opposed to going to a more established school.
“I didn’t want to be like everybody else, follow what they doing,” he said. “I’m about starting something . I want to be the one where a lot of people say, ‘That’s where I want to go.’ I wanted to start my own thing a little bit.”
Mudiay could end up being a one-and-done, though, and a likely lottery pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Mudiay has taken about half a dozen unofficial visits to the SMU campus, and never ended up taking any officials.
He was scheduled for an official visit to Kentucky in October, but now that won’t be necessary.
With Kentucky possibly set to lose out on both Mudiay and Tyus Jones, they have focused their efforts on Chicago Marian Heights point guard Tyler Ulis, a 5-9 point guard who only recently picked up a UK offer.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.