James Wiseman withdraws from Memphis to prepare for NBA Draft
James Wiseman will be eligible to return from his suspension in a few weeks, but the star freshman says he has played his last game for Memphis.
On Thursday, Wiseman took to Instagram to announce he has withdrawn from the University of Memphis and will begin preparing for the 2020 NBA Draft. He thanked his coaches, teammates, and Tigers fans for their support during his brief time with the program.
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Today I formally withdrew from the University of Memphis and I will be preparing for the next chapter of my life. 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. God is my lord and salvation, and throughout this process he has comforted me. This was not how I expected my freshman season to be, but I’m thankful for everyone who has supported my family and me throughout this process. I want to thank the coaches and staff for all their support and my teammates for pushing me everyday at practice. I feel blessed for the opportunity to be a Tiger and for having the honor to play with these special group of guys. I can’t wait to see what all they accomplish this season. The friends and fans of Tiger Nation will always hold a place in my heart. #GoTigersGo
“This was not how I expected my freshman season to be, but I’m thankful for everyone who has supported my family and me throughout this process,” Wiseman wrote.
The NCAA announced last month that Wiseman has been suspended for 12 games and must make a sizable donation to the charity of his choice after his family received money from Tigers coach Penny Hardaway to move to Memphis. He would have been eligible to return on Jan. 12.
Wiseman was a top recruit for Memphis and is considered a strong candidate to be selected first overall in draft. He was initially cleared by the NCAA regarding his eligibility, but officials later ruled that Hardaway was a “booster” for Memphis because he had previously donated to the program, even though he gave the money to Wiseman’s family prior to being named the head coach of the Tigers.
Memphis initially received a temporary restraining order against the NCAA’s ruling and defiantly played Wiseman the first three games of the season before the big man decided to drop his lawsuit against the NCAA and sit out. The NCAA may still be planning to drop the hammer on Memphis for playing Wiseman after he was ruled ineligible.