Emmanuel Mudiay has signed a shoe contract with Under Armour. The details of the deal have not been revealed yet. Mudiay bypassed a scholarship to play at SMU to go overseas and play in China this season. He signed a one year contract with the Guangdong Southern Tigers for more than $1 million.
Mudiay was the 5th ranked player in the ESPN 100 last season and is a potential lottery pick in next years NBA Draft. He took the unusual route of going overseas instead of college. But why wouldn't he? He is less than a year removed from high school and is going to be a multi-millionaire. Don't forget after his one season in China he has the chance to be the #1 pick in the NBA Draft.
It' surprising more high-school kids don't go overseas. What's more enticing to a 18-19 year old kid, a million dollars or one free year of college education before they go to the NBA? A Kid like Mudiay decided to go overseas to help support his family. For kids who are less fortunate, like him, and don't have money in their families going overseas is a quick fix. They get paid to play basketball and ready themselves for the NBA. Going overseas is more appealing than living another year of life struggling with money problems. More and more kids might start going overseas from high school as they start to realize their opportunities.
Under Armour has invested in a huge risk/reward sweepstake with Mudiay. He has the potential to be one of the next great NBA point guards, but he also may never amount to be anything special. Under Armour is willing to take risks though. To compete with Nike you have to take risks. Under Armour offered Kevin Durant an astonishing $320 Million dollar contract this summer. Nike matched the offer and Durant signed back with them. Under Armour can't simply outbid Nike. Hence, they start grabbing potential super stars as soon as possible. They may have signed a gem in Mudiay, but only time will tell.