MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – It was all about Memphis Tiger’s signee James Wiseman Saturday, with a whole parade dedicated to him!
Wiseman, all 7-feet of him, was riding passenger-side in a Corvette down Walnut Grove and around East High School. He was passenger-side because, fun fact, Wiseman, the top player in the 2019 class, does not have his driver’s license.
He’s been a little busy.
But he didn’t need to be licensed to help drive Memphis basketball to the number one recruiting class in the country. And Memphis loves him for that. Hence, the parade, which was followed by a pep rally.
“Yeah my mind is actually perplexed right now really. Kind of confused. I’m like, uh, it’s like so much support. It’s around me but, I mean, that just shows Memphis how they love their basketball players in terms of just giving it back into the city. So I’m just having a fun time right now,” said Wiseman.
For an outsider, it may seem a bit much. An entire day dedicated to an 18-year-old kid who hasn’t played a minute of college basketball.
But the city recognizes that James Wiseman isn’t just the top recruit who chose Memphis. He’s the top recruit who’s responsible for getting other top recruits to choose Memphis.
And like the city, James is ready for the show.
“I mean, we got a great recruiting class coming in. It’s going to be a great moment for us. Just to be under the wings of Penny Hardaway and Mike Miller. Really since we have a lot of top players in the country, just keep our egos at the door and just go out there, play together, play smart and just play for each other,” he said.
Coach Penny mentioned this week how big James was in the recruitment of guys like Boogie Ellis, Precious Achiuwa, and Lester Quinones.
“What happened early was Boogie, James, Lester, and Precious all got in a group chat and then they added everyone else in the group chat. And all they’ve been talking about is sacrifice. I hear the rumors of how are you going to make everybody happy, how are these things going to happen, but I think there are young leaders emerging from this group chat that they’re saying, ‘Hey we’re gonna sacrifice for one another so we can all have the bigger goal’,” said the coach.