FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, file photo, Memphis' James Wiseman watches from the bench during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Little Rock in Memphis, Tenn. Wiseman says he has withdrawn from school as the likely NBA lottery pick gets ready to begin his pro career. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht, File)

Memphis' James Wiseman says he has withdrawn from school

December 19, 2019 - 3:18 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis center James Wiseman says he has withdrawn from school as the likely NBA lottery pick gets ready to begin his pro career.

The 7-foot-1 freshman said Thursday in an Instagram post that he was leaving school to start “preparing for the next chapter of my life.” Wiseman added that “ever since I was a little kid, it’s been a dream of mine to play in the NBA.”

Wiseman is considered the potential No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

This decision ends Wiseman’s tumultuous college career after only three games. Wiseman was the biggest prize in a Memphis recruiting class that was ranked as the nation’s best, but he was serving an NCAA suspension for most of the season.

The NCAA suspended Wiseman 12 games because his family received $11,500 to assist in a move from Nashville to Memphis in the summer of 2017. Although Hardaway wasn’t Memphis’ coach at the time, the NCAA ruled the payment wasn’t allowed because he was acting as a booster.

Wiseman played in Memphis’ first three games and averaged 19.7 points and 10.7 rebounds. He would have been eligible to return to action for the 11th-ranked Tigers (9-1) on Jan. 12.

Memphis officials weren't immediately available for comment.

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