College Basketball

Memphis Basketball: Will Mikey Williams Be Able To Play For Tigers After Arrest?

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Memphis Basketball Will Mikey Williams Be Able To Play For Tigers After Arrest?

Memphis men’s basketball guard Mikey Williams committed to the program on Nov. 5 and signed his letter of intent 11 days later, but now college scouts are wondering whether or not the 6-foot-2 incoming freshman will even have a chance to play for the Tigers next season.

Williams was arrested last Thursday in Jamul, California, on five charges of assault with a deadly weapon, according to the police report. San Diego Sheriff’s Department Lt. Gavin Lanning said Williams then paid the $50,000 bond and was released at 12:14 a.m. Friday.

Per a few college basketball betting sites, Memphis is projected to rank in the AP Top 25 next season. Check out which sportsbooks are also showing favorable odds for Houston, Texas, Alabama, and Kansas.

Williams is accused of violating California penal code Chapter 9, Section 245(a)(2), which involves “any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a firearm.” The individual can be charged with either a felony or misdemeanor. This penalty carries a maximum sentence of up to four years in prison.

Lanning said four of Williams’ charges could be dropped. More importantly, the guard could serve the minimum sentence of six months. His first court appearance is this Thursday. According to Jackson Brown of ABC 24 Memphis, the freshman lost his scholarship.

The University of Memphis released a statement last Friday saying, “We are aware of the situation and are gathering more information.” The four-star recruit turns 19 years old this June. Williams had received other offers from Alabama State, Arizona State, Arkansas, and Kansas.

Memphis basketball incoming freshman Mikey Williams might be ineligible to play for the Tigers next season

For an incoming freshman charged with either a misdemeanor or felony, it’s unclear if the student athlete will still maintain NCAA eligibility. National Collegiate officials take felonies more seriously. Memphis’ Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities .pdf file reads:

“University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student and/or student organization charged with conduct that potentially violates both criminal law and the Student Code (that is, if both possible violations result from the same factual situation) without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation or criminal arrest and/or prosecution.

“When a student is charged by federal, state, or local authorities with a violation of law, the University will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of their status as a student.”

Moreover, Mikey Williams has almost four million Instagram followers. Plus, the guard has more than two million TikTok followers. His name, image, and likeness (NIL) is worth an estimated $3.3 million, per His Instagram account was deactivated early Friday morning.

In July 2021, Williams signed a contract with Excel Sports Management. This deal was made to pursue name, image, and likeness endorsement opportunities. In October 2021, at the age of 17, Williams became the first American high school basketball player to sign a sneaker deal with a global footwear company.

He signed a multiyear endorsement deal with Puma. However, any endorsement deals could be in jeopardy. Public perception is reality. College athletes have to avoid a criminal record. If Williams can stay out of trouble in the future, the guard has a bright future ahead.

At San Ysidro High School, Williams ranks No. 17 in the Class of 2023, No. 4 combo guard, and No. 3 in California

Mikey Williams was also one of four high school seniors signed by Memphis last fall. This past season, Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway led the Tigers to 26-9 (13-5 AAC), losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament. But it’s unknown at the moment whether Williams will be able to play under the 2021 NIT champ.

Additionally, during his freshman year at San Ysiudro High School in San Diego, California, Williams averaged 29.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game and was named MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year. The combo guard led San Ysidro to the CIF-SDS Division III championship as well.

On December 13, 2020, Williams scored a career-high 77 points in a 116–52 win over Kearny High School. He broke the CIF-SDS single-game scoring record. It was previously held by Tyrone Shelley since 2005.

In January 2022, recruiting scout Eric Bossi submitted his scouting report on Williams to 247Sports. Approximately 50% of college recruiting analysts believe the guard has a future in the NBA.

“A strong and compact combo guard, Williams is an offensive minded player who understands how to use his athleticism and burst off of the dribble,” wrote Bossi. “He is a good ball handler with wiggle off the dribble who finds and exploits cracks in the defense to get to the rim and finish or draw fouls.

“He has developed into a pretty good shooter from deep and gets tremendous lift when he pulls up off the dribble for his shot. Williams has a huge following on social media. He plays to big crowds wherever he goes, so there is a natural flair and charisma that comes along with his game.”

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