DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — The SMU basketball program made a national statement after receiving a commitment from Emmanuel Mudiay — one of the nation’s top guards — last year.

The guard’s decision to pursue a career overseas — that prompted a statement of its own from Mustangs’ head coach Larry Brown.

“Emmanuel Mudiay has decided to pursue professional basketball opportunities. 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. While I believe that college is the best way to prepare for life and the NBA, Emmanuel’s situation is unique. We were excited about having him at SMU, but we understand this decision and wish him the best.”

The Prime Prep Academy star, who graduated this spring, chose SMU over powerhouses Kentucky and Kansas last August.

Reports are attributing the decision to either academic or amateurism issues, something Prime Prep’s Deion Sanders adamantly denies.

The explosive 6-foot-5 guard is projected as a potential lottery pick in the 2015 draft.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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