Written by Corbett Smith
Basketball Player of the Year: Emmanuel Mudiay's rise has next stop at SMU
As the game between Kimball and Prime Prep Academy drew to a close, the intensity started to climb. Both teams started flat – this was a warm-up game, after all – with the two teams a few weeks away from state-title runs: Kimball finishing as the UIL Class 4A winner, Prime Prep ending as the TCAL Prep champions
With the game in doubt, Prime Prep star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay started applying his will and his considerable skills. After Kimball went up by two with four seconds remaining, Mudiay took a few dribbles across midcourt, spun away from pressure, then banked in a double-clutch, 25-foot 3-pointer as time expired.
“He’s always been the kid with the ball, dribbling all over the place,” Prime Prep coach Ray Forsett said. “You could always tell, growing up, he was going to be special. He loves the game.”
Mudiay is considered one of the best players in the nation out of this year’s class. As a freshman and sophomore, he won two TAPPS titles playing alongside Baylor 7-0 center Isaiah Austin at Arlington Grace Prep. Mudiay then transferred to Prime Prep – where his teams went 67-7. This year, he shone in some of Prime Prep’s biggest showcases, with 33 points, eight rebounds and three steals in a season-opening win over eventual UIL Class 3A runner-up Houston Yates, and scoring 12 of 22 points in the fourth quarter to beat national power Findlay Prep in Las Vegas.
In one of the year’s biggest recruiting coups, he signed with SMU; Mudiay said he couldn’t pass up a chance to play with older brother Jean-Michael and be coached by Hall of Famer Larry Brown.
“My whole mindset has changed over the past year,” Mudiay said. “Because I know, for what I’m trying to do, it’s going to take nothing but crazy work.”
Emmanuel Mudiay, Prime Prep Academy, Sr., PG, 6-5
Stats: Mudiay averaged 16 points, six rebounds and four assists this season for Prime Prep (30-6). He’s a consensus Top 5 national recruit, ranked No. 2 overall by Rivals, No. 3 by Scout and No. 5 by ESPN.
Did you know? Mudiay, a Congolese refugee, was the 2011 SportsDayHS Newcomer of the Year, leading Arlington Grace Prep to the 4A TAPPS title as a freshman.