Wiseman at the Nike EYBL in April 2017
|Born||March 31, 2001|
|Listed height||7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)|
|Listed weight||240 lb (109 kg)|
|Career highlights and awards|
James Wiseman (born March 31, 2001) is an American basketball player. He played college basketball for the Memphis Tigers. Listed at 7 feet 1 inch (2.16 m) and 240 pounds (109 kg), he plays the center position.
Wiseman began high school at The Ensworth School in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee before transferring to Memphis East High School, where he was coached by former NBA player Penny Hardaway for his first year. As a senior, Wiseman was a consensus five-star recruit, with most recruiting services ranking him number one in the 2019 class. He claimed multiple national player of the year awards and played in the McDonald's All-American Game after his final season.
In college, Wiseman joined Memphis to play for Hardaway, who had become the Tigers' coach. Early into his freshman season, he was suspended by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which deemed that Hardaway had acted as a booster by facilitating Wiseman's move to Memphis, Tennessee in 2017. He served part of the suspension before withdrawing from school to prepare for the upcoming draft.
High school career
Entering his freshman season for The Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee, Wiseman stood 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg). He was teammates with future NBA player Jordan Bone. By the summer of 2016, ESPN ranked Wiseman among its top 25 players in the 2019 recruiting class. He joined the St. Louis Eagles Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team. As a sophomore in 2016–17, he guided Ensworth to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) Division II-AA semifinals. He averaged about 20 points and six rebounds per game and was named MaxPreps Sophomore All-American honorable mention.
In May 2017, Wiseman joined Team Penny, founded by former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Penny Hardaway, on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit. In August, he announced his transfer to Memphis East High School in Memphis, Tennessee, where Hardaway was promoted to head coach. On November 16, 2017, Wiseman was ruled ineligible for his junior season by the TSSAA because an "athletic coaching link" existed between him and Hardaway. However, on December 13, he was cleared to play because the TSSAA rule was "not clear in its application." During the season, Wiseman rose to become the number one overall recruit by ESPN in the 2019 class. On March 17, 2018, he led Memphis East to a TSSAA Class AAA championship, leading all scorers with 19 points. He averaged 18.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game, earning MaxPreps Junior All-American third team recognition.
Entering his senior season, Wiseman remained at Memphis East instead of transferring to a prep school, citing "the East High tradition" and the improvements he made as a junior with the program. On March 1, 2019, he recorded a triple-double of 27 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 blocks to help his team win the Region 8AAA championship. Memphis East finished as TSSAA Class AAA runners-up to Bearden High School, even though Wiseman posted 24 points, 11 rebounds, and five blocks in his final high school game. After averaging 25.8 points, 14.8 rebounds, and 5.5 blocks as a senior, he was named Gatorade National Player of the Year and Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year. Wiseman also won the Tennessee Class AAA Mr. Basketball award while appearing in the McDonald's All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic, and Nike Hoop Summit. He shared most valuable player (MVP) accolades with Cole Anthony at the Jordan Brand Classic.
In October 2019, after Wiseman had moved on to the University of Memphis, the TSSAA's original ruling of ineligibility for the 2017–18 season was upheld by a Memphis judge, who ruled that the TSSAA coaching link rule was not too vague and did not violate Wiseman's property rights as an athlete.
Wiseman was a consensus five-star recruit out of high school and was considered the top recruit in the 2019 class by 247Sports and ESPN. On November 20, 2018, he committed to Memphis despite strongly considering Kentucky. As a result, he reunited with former high school coach Penny Hardaway, who had become the team's head coach in the previous season. On November 29, Wiseman signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Memphis.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Nashville, TN||Memphis East (TN)||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)||230 lb (100 kg)||Nov 20, 2018|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: N/A Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN: ESPN grade: 97|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Rivals: 1 247Sports: 2 ESPN: 1|
In August 2019, a minor shoulder injury kept Wiseman from joining Memphis for a series of preseason exhibition games in Nassau, Bahamas. He was sidelined from the team's two preseason games in October with an ankle injury. On November 5, Wiseman made his regular season debut with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks in 22 minutes as the Tigers defeated South Carolina State, 97-64.
On November 8, Wiseman's lawyers announced that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ruled him ineligible. The University of Memphis stated that head coach Penny Hardaway had paid for $11,500 in moving expenses to help him and his family move to the city of Memphis in 2017. According to Wiseman's lawyer, Leslie Ballin, the NCAA deemed that Hardaway, a Memphis alumnus, had acted as a booster. On the same day, a Shelby County judge granted Wiseman a temporary restraining order against the NCAA's ruling, allowing him to keep playing. Hours later, he had 17 points and nine rebounds to lead Memphis past UIC, 92-46. Wiseman's lawyers filed a lawsuit against the NCAA to restore his eligibility before withdrawing the case six days later in hopes of reaching an agreement. On November 20, the NCAA ruled that Wiseman would be eligible to return on January 12 after serving a 12-game suspension if he donated $11,500 to a charity of his choice.
On December 19, 2019, after missing seven games due to suspension, Wiseman announced that he would leave Memphis, hire an agent and prepare for the 2020 NBA draft, effectively ending his college career. He was one of the most highly-rated prospects in his class.
National team career
Wiseman averaged 11.4 points and five rebounds per game for the United States at the 2017 FIBA Under-16 Americas Championship in Formosa, Argentina. He helped his team win the gold medal over Canada. Wiseman was unable to join the United States for the 2018 FIBA Under-17 Basketball World Cup because he was injured.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
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- "Wiseman gets restraining order to play; Memphis wins". ESPN. Associated Press. November 8, 2019. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
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- "James Wiseman's profile". FIBA. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "USA claim FIBA U16 Americas Championship 2017". FIBA. June 19, 2017. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Roster Announced for 2018 USA Basketball Men's U17 World Cup Team". USA Basketball. June 21, 2018. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
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