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James Wiseman, former Memphis star, calls eligibility dispute ‘unfair’

James Wiseman has maintained a low profile since leaving Memphis in December.

But the former Tiger’s first post-departure interview, conducted by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, aired on Friday’s edition of “NBA Countdown.” In it, Wiseman said he was “crying every night” because of the “mental agony” of not being able to play basketball at Memphis. The 7-foot-1 projected first-round draft pick was declared ineligible shortly before the team’s season opener against South Carolina State.

“I just wanted to get on the court so much, because I just love the game of basketball,” Wiseman said. “That really took a lot out of me. I was really like in the middle of a hurricane, really. I was like the eye of it. And that’s, like, the worst place you can possibly be in.”

Wiseman’s status came about when the NCAA discovered Penny Hardaway gave $11,500 to Donzaleigh Artis (Wiseman’s mother) for moving expenses when she moved her family from Nashville to Memphis in 2017 – before Hardaway was named the Tigers’ head coach.

The transaction constituted a violation of the NCAA’s bylaws since Hardaway was considered a Memphis booster because of a $1 million donation he made to the athletic department in 2008.

Wiseman played in three games for Memphis after obtaining a temporary injunction in Shelby County Chancery court. He eventually dropped the pending lawsuit (because he “didn’t want it to get worse in terms of it coming back on the institution, the University of Memphis) and the NCAA ruled he must sit out 12 games, eligible to return on Jan. 12. Wiseman remained with the team until Dec. 19, when he announced his intention to withdraw from school to begin preparing for the NBA draft.

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Adrian Woody
Adrian Woody Author
Contributor At Industry News Blog

Having the apt skills to play with words to put forth various updates and news relating to the field of technology in an interesting way has made Adrian is a contributor in our organization. He is dedicated to writing articles related to all the up-to-the-minute inventions, launches, updates, and much more happening in the world of technology. In his free time, Adrian offers a guest lecture to kids about the latest inventions.

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