An American high school basketball star has spurned high-profile college coaches John Calipari and Larry Brown — as well as a college scholarship — to sign a big-money deal in China.
Emmanuel Mudiay signed a $1.2 million deal with the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Yahoo Source: Emmanuel Mudiay, a top 2015 NBA draft pick, agrees to a record overseas deal for a high school star. http://t.co/wcHbr7Q8yM
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 22, 2014
It’s one of the highest-paying overseas deal in history for an American high school player, and it makes Mudiay the first 2014 McDonald’s All-American to get paid. Current Pistons guard Brandon Jennings was paid $1.65M to play for Lottomatica Roma in Italy.
Based on NBA rules, a player must be one year removed from high school and 19-years-old to be eligible for the NBA Draft. The latest draft eligibility requirements have been around since 2006.
Mudiay had committed to play for Brown at SMU but pulled that commitment. He issued the following statement his decision to play in China:
After sitting down with coach [Larry] 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 was excited about going to SMU and playing college basketball for coach Brown and his staff and preparing for the NBA, but I was tired of seeing my mom struggle. I am grateful for coach Brown’s guidance and support and I am also appreciative of all the support from Prime Prep.
Mudiay is projected to go as high as No. 1 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.