When five-star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay announced his intent to attend SMU on national television, few people, if any knew that his older brother, Jean Michael Mudiay, would be joining him on the Hilltop.
Jean Michael, who most recently played for Western Texas Junior College, will be eligible to play immediately for the Mustangs in the upcoming 2013 season.
According to the eldest Mudiay, Stephane, Emmanuel and Jean Michael have been dreaming to play together for a while and are happy that it is all coming together under Larry Brown and Ulric Maligi.
"It will be great to have them play together. They have talked about it for a long time, and they did it," Stephane said. "It will be great for my mom and me to be able to watch them play at home."
Jean Michael was a former prep school star in high school, until he tore his ACL, forcing him to go through rehab and work extremely hard for long hours to regain his prior form. But it looks like the hard work has paid off, and he is ready to go.
"The injury was a long time ago, back when he was in high school," Stephane said. "He is healthy now, and he's played two season since the injury, so he is good to go."
Although Larry Brown may have been the major factor in Emmanuel and Jean Michael's decision to play for the Mustangs, Maligi has developed a great relationship with the Mudiay family as the years have gone by and may be the biggest reason Jean Michael is at SMU.
"Coach Maligi has actually recruited all three of us so we have a very good relationship with him. He is from Arlington, and has coached all around the Metroplex, and we've all known him for a long time," he said. "Ulric is the one who got him [Jean Michael] to come to SMU."
Although Maligi was the point man on getting Jean Michael into an SMU jersey, Larry Brown has been in contact with him as well, and the two have gotten a chance to talk about Jean Michael's future on the Hilltop.
"Obviously it is a huge honor to play for a guy like Coach Brown, not everyone has a chance to play for a Hall of Famer. He is excited to contribute to the team in any way he can, and has talked to Coach Brown a few times," Stephane said. "Jean Michael knows Shawn Williams, and even played against Yanick (Moreira) on the Junior College level, so he is familiar with the program."
As the Mustangs stampede into their first season in the new American Athletic Conference, the program has higher hopes than it has had in years, Jean Michael should be able to provide depth at both the shooting guard and small forward positions.
Jean Michael Mudiay Ready To Go
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