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.