MEMPHIS, Tenn. —James Wiseman, one of the nation's top basketball recruits in the class of 2019, said he followed his heart as he announced Tuesday he will attend the University of Memphis in the fall.
The 5-star recruit from East High School was set to choose between Memphis, Kentucky, Kansas, Florida State and Vanderbilt, though, all signs pointed to a two-team race between the Tigers and Wildcats.
"It wasn't hard. I was being very analytical about this decision and I just chose the right school for me," Wiseman said in an interview after the announcement.
Speaking of his new coach, former NBA veteran and Memphis native Penny Hardaway, Wiseman said, "He's been somewhere that I'm trying to get to, so he can prepare me for that stage.
"But, I mean, I just picked this decision just based off of me, just how I feel. I follow my heart."
Over at the University of Memphis, students celebrated the announcement.
"For him to come to Memphis, that's a big deal. That's a real big deal," Patrick Todd. "I wouldn't have been surprised if he didn't come to Memphis. So I didn't want to get too excited."
"It's sensational! We're on a different level now," junior Demarius Fletcher said.
Mayor Jim Strickland also showed his support and expects the seats to fill up at the FedEx Forum.
"Those players are beloved in this city, so when we're doing well. It unites the entire city and that's going to be an economic boom for downtown."
Wiseman is the highest ranked player to ever choose Memphis.