BY PETER HOUSTON – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
Andrew Wiggins. If you don’t know the name by now, you should. Last week Wiggins, playing at Huntington prep school in West Virginia, reclassified himself as a high school senior, making him eligible for the 2013 recruiting class. And the impact was immediate. ESPN ranked him as the number one recruit in the senior class. North Carolina head coach Roy Williams paid him a visit at Huntington. NBA teams started second guessing their playoff aspirations for 2014. And the best part of it all?
Wiggins grew up in Thornhill, Ontario, just north of Toronto. He even spent his Grade 10 season playing in Canada (at Vaughn Secondary school) before making the move to prep school in the U.S. He has also represented Canada internationally at the FIBA under-17 World Championships in 2010 and the FIBA Americas under-18 in 2012.
He’s already an early favourite to be the number one pick in the 2014 NBA draft. Paul Biancardi, ESPN’s director of basketball recruiting, who spent 18 years as a coach in Division 1, called Wiggins the best perimeter prospect since LeBron James. And LeBron himself probably wouldn’t have any problems with that comparison. At LeBron’s Skills Academy Camp last summer, Wiggins brought James out of his seat when he tried to throw down a monster cram over the opposing team’s centre. LeBron quickly declared “he’s the best player here.”
But before Wiggins starts thinking about the NBA, he’s going to have to choose a school. As mentioned, he has already received a visit from UNC. Ohio State and Kansas are expected to make appearances at Huntington this week. Kentucky will be in the mix, but they have already landed the Harrison twins (top PG and SG in the U.S.) and James Young, the number six ranked prospect. Will Wiggins want to be part of a crowded lineup where he might not get all the shine he deserves? Florida State also has a chance of landing the phenom, because it is both of his parents’ alma matters.
Wherever he ends up, Wiggins is going to be a star. So remember the name basketball fans, it won’t be long before it’s going to be just about the only name you’ll hear. Until then, we’re probably going to hear NBA fans of likely 2014 lottery teams come up with their own version of “Suck for Luck”. How about “Suck for the Canuck”?
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