The University of Memphis is now short of a player and an ongoing saga involving James Wiseman will only grow in the wake of his leaving the squad to declare for the NBA Draft. However, Wiseman’s decision to go pro isn’t without its fair share of questionable happenings in the background.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Wiseman, who played center for the Tigers squad, shared this his stated goal was always to get to the NBA and he’s doing so amid a bit of scandal of which none was his fault.
When Memphis coach Penny Hardaway was coaching high school in the city back in 2017, he paid $11,000 for Wiseman’s family to move from Nashville to Memphis. The NCAA at first let the payment slide and declared Wiseman eligible then slapped a 12-game suspension one him due to Hardaway being considered a “booster” for the Memphis Tigers, having donated to the school in 2008.
While sitting on ice, Wiseman realized that he no longer needed college basketball after realizing the NCAA maybe didn’t know what to do with him. It was quite a blow to Memphis too as many players Hardaway lured to the team was because many of them wanted to play with Wiseman.
Hiring an agent and killing all hopes of reentering the college ranks, Wiseman said all that needed to be said about his decision.
“Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been a dream of mine to play in the NBA. Throughout this process, I’ve asked God to ordain my steps and lead me in the right direction,” Wiseman wrote on Thursday.
Coach Hardaway held a press conference Friday afternoon and supports Wiseman’s in his decision, even noting that he didn’t want him to bolt for the NBA. However, Hardaway said that while the team was stunned, they still have a season to play and it shouldn’t hinge on one player.
Reporter Brad Broders captured the presser via Twitter. Check it out below along with Wiseman’s IG post.