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Thread: Andrew Wiggins - The next great Canadian basketball hope.

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    Default Andrew Wiggins - The next great Canadian basketball hope.

    Andrew Wiggins: Canada's great basketball hope
    Dad was an NBAer, mom an Olympic sprinter


    MIKE GANTER, TORONTO SUN
    FIRST POSTED: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2010 4:46:56 EST PM | UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2010 6:14:21 EST PM

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    NEW YORK - You are 15 years old and you can google yourself and see words like "The Great Canadian Hope" and "Hoops prodigy" next to your name.

    Your name is Andrew Wiggins. You are still in high school. You can't legally drive a car, yet newspapers and internet sites have been praising your abilities on the basketball court for years already.

    How do you not get a swelled head?

    Ask his even more famous father that question and Mitch Wiggins has an easy answer.

    "He's not even the best player in his family yet," Wiggins, a veteran of six years in the NBA said recently.

    And the father isn't even referring to himself. He's talking about older brothers Mitch Jr. and Nick who not only routinely beat their younger, more famous brother on the hardwood but don't mind keeping him honest off the court in ways in which only older brothers are adept and comfortable.

    Mitch Wiggins, the father, has an extensive international basketball resume in addition to his half dozen years in the NBA and while he admits a certain degree of bias when it comes to his own son, he doesn't consider the hype unwarranted.

    "Andrew athletically and talent wise, even if he wasn't my son, I would say he's as good as it gets right now," Mitch Wiggins offered.

    You're not going to get a disagreement from Leo Rautins, head coach of the Canadian senior men's team and a guy who could have Wiggins on his roster in the very near future.

    "He's as good as anybody in North America at that age," Rautins said matter-of-factly. "He's got a great body, No. 1. Very gifted athletically and he's got a nice feel for the game instinctively. I still say he's raw. He's not even scratching the surface yet. But instinctively he does a lot of things very well.

    "When Vince Carter first started with the Raptors, John Saunders (broadcast partner) and I would watch him and at least once a game one of us would ask the other: 'He didn't just do that, did he?' Andrew is like that. He'll do things and you find yourself saying, 'Are you serious? Did he do that?'"

    What makes Rautins less guarded than he would normally be when talking about a potential future great Canadian basketball player is the knowledge that not only is Wiggins supremely talented, he's surrounded by people looking out for his best interests.

    "We know his dad isn't going to let him get comfortable," Rautins said. "A lot of kids don't have that support system with somebody in their corner that knows the game, knows how it works."

    In fact, Wiggins is doubly blessed in the athletic department with a former NBA player for a father and a former national team sprinter for a mom. Marita Payne-Wiggins competed in three Olympics for Canada and won two silver medals. Between the two of them there is very little they have not experienced that their son may one day have to deal with.

    For now, Wiggins is attending Vaughan Secondary where his brothers went, playing on the high school team while working with his dad and members of the Canada Basketball coaching family as he hones his craft.

    There has been no firm decision about heading south to a prep school, but that has certainly been discussed.

    Wiggins himself says it will likely happen sooner than later.

    His dad knows it too. "I don't know if he will be back in Canada," Mitch Wiggins said. "We've had the top of the top prep schools calling since the (under-17) world championship. The top colleges are calling. We're going to take our time and make the right decision."

    Wiggins and the Canadian cadet team put Canada back on the international basketball map this summer, winning a bronze medal at the under-17s in Hamburg, Germany.

    Wiggins enjoyed the experience so much he wants another taste this summer. He could play for Canada at the FIBA Americas under-16 championship for men in Mexico in June or the under-19 worlds in Latvia in July. Or compete in both. At this point no one is ruling out anything including playing for the senior men's national team as they head to Mar del Plata, Argentina this summer and attempt to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London.

    "He wants the top competition," Mitch Wiggins said. "He wants it. He's hungry for it. He wants to be one of the best players to ever come from Canada."

    At 6-foot-8 and still growing, Andrew Wiggins is comfortable playing three of the five positions on the court. His dad, who has always instructed his boys to train "like they were little guys and work on their little man skills", says what position his son plays is really irrelevant.

    "Andrew to me is like LeBron (James) or Michael (Jordan)," Mitch Wiggins said. "You don't put him in a position. You just put him on the court because he's a player. He can play the 1, the 2, or the 3. He can defend any of those positions, he rebounds like a big man, handles the ball like a guard. He's 6-foot-8 with a seven-foot wingspan. And he has a basketball IQ."

    Rautins adds he has all that and another quality the best athletes in the world have - a love of competition.

    "He's kind of a laid-back kid but he's got that fire," Rautins said. "We've had some workouts with older guys and he just picks them up, gets right into them. He's not afraid. He'll go in and he doesn't care if there is a big guy in the way. He's going to dunk on him. He has a real good competitive side."

    Andrew Wiggins is not there yet. As his father points out, there is still plenty to learn and improve upon. But with the talent base he possesses, the advantage of having two former high-level athletes as parents, and the support group that goes with that, Wiggins is well on his way to going as far as he wants basketball to take him.

    mike.ganter@sunmedia.ca

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    Senior Member NorCal's Avatar
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    Has there been a Canadian prospect with this much hype or potential ever? I can't think of one

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    This is more hype than substance and way too soon to make such bold statements.

    No national program can rely on one individual. Plus that he has really not proven himself. We don't know what chemistry will be in force and we don't now if he suddenly gets injured, or his professional team understandably refuses to let him play in a national program.

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    Andrew Wiggins also has a profile on NBADraft.net and Rivals.com

    From various scouting reports, currently Wiggins is a "tweener" meaning not quite small forward and not quite power forward. In between those two positions. I look for him to be comfortable with the SF position as he progresses.

    There is also the talk of his College Basketball future where Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina (Tarheels) are interested.
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    Default Wiggins chooses Huntington Prep

    Wiggins chooses Huntington Prep
    July 30, 2011 @ 12:00 AM
    GRANT TRAYLOR
    The Herald-Dispatch
    HUNTINGTON -- Andrew Wiggins, one of the most most coveted boys basketball players in the high school Class of 2014, is coming to town.

    Wiggins, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound small forward prospect from Canada, announced Friday night via Twitter that he will be playing for Huntington Prep Academy with his brother Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

    "Adding a kid of his caliber not only helps locally with fan base to get people excited, it does so nationally," Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford said. "He's the No. 1-rated player in the class, and he'll be that way for three years. He'll be a great player and huge recruiting tool. We'll be excited to see the preseason rankings, but obviously we are more interested in where we are at the end."

    Wiggins grades out to a 98 on ESPN's recruiting services and is the No. 3 overall prospect on ESPNU's Terrific 25 list for the Class of 2014.

    Earlier this month, Wiggins turned plenty of heads at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam while playing for CIA Bounce, an AAU team based out of Toronto. Wiggins drew raves as the top long-term prospect and was featured in several ESPN and YouTube videos for his high-flying dunks in the tournament, which CIA Bounce-Team Takeover Canada won.

    That athleticism and ability to score are big additions to an already-loaded Huntington Prep team for the 2011-12 season.

    "With next year's group coming in -- from top to bottom -- we have so many high-major guys ," Fulford said. "Obviously with Wiggins, it creates a certain buzz around town. We are all proud of this state and we are starting to become a household name."

    Wiggins is the son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins, who was the 23rd pick in the 1983 draft by the Indiana Pacers. He never played for the Pacers, but went on to play for three NBA teams (Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers) before going overseas to finish out his career.

    Recruiting services say Wiggins is easily on his way to following in his father's footsteps.

    "No doubt, Andrew comes from a great pedigree. His dad was the 23rd pick of the draft and his mom (Marita Payne) was a two-time silver medalist in the Olympics for Canada," Fulford said. "He still looks like he's 12, and it's scary how good he could be because he is still going to grow and get better."

    Fulford's relationship with other Canadian players and a Tri-State visit by Wiggins and his father before the summer AAU circuit began helped seal the deal.

    "Every kid that we've had visit Huntington has come here, loved it and committed to coming here. That says a lot about the town and the program," Fulford said. "His dad came on the visit with him and saw how committed to family that we are.

    "He understood that not only have we been there recruiting him, but he also sees that we have Andrew's best interest at heart."

    Other Canadian prospects who have come through the CIA Bounce AAU program to Huntington Prep include former player Sim Bhullar (committed to Xavier) and current team members Negus Webster-Chan, Stefan Jankovic, Tanveer Bhullar and Rathan-Mayes.

    Wiggins already has offers and interest from major college programs such as Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina and Florida State -- his father's alma mater.

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    Wiggins Scores 24, Leads Canada To 85-74 Win Over Brazil
    Aug 05, 2011 8:53 PM EDT
    Behind a highly impressive performance from Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, Team Canada defeated Brazil by a final score of 85-74 in the first round of the Nike Global Challenge.

    Wiggins scored 24 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the floor (2-for-5 from distance).

    Wiggins is two years younger than most players in the tournament, but showed the type of advanced all-around skills and athleticism that makes him one of the top prospects in the incoming class of 2014.

    Bennett scored 15 points to go with a game-high 10 rebounds.

    Canada will play USA East in the semifinals on Saturday, where Wiggins will be matched up against the likes of Ricardo Ledo, Omar Calhoun and Cameron Biedscheid.

    Sim Bhuller had two first half dunks for Canada, but played just sparingly in the second half and was largely a non-factor. He will be matched center Nerlens Noel in the semifinal.

    Tyler Ennis chipped in 14 points for Canada, while Dyshawn Pierre had 13 and five assists.

    Brazil was led in scoring by Olintho Pereira, who had 18 points.

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    ESPN names Wiggins top prospect
    August 13, 2011 @ 12:00 AM
    GRANT TRAYLOR
    The Herald-Dispatch
    HUNTINGTON -- All along, Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford said that Canadian-born talent Andrew Wiggins was the top overall player in the Class of 2014.

    Maybe someone at ESPN was listening to him.

    When ESPN released its Class of 2014 rankings on Friday, Wiggins was rated as the No. 1 prospect in the class.

    "They honestly hadn't seen him play that much, but with him playing with the CIA Bounce program, they had a chance to see him with other elite kids who were older and then with his own age," Fulford said. "There is no comparison. It's no disrespect to the kids behind him in the rankings, but it's not close."

    No one should know better than Fulford.

    Much of his summer was spent traveling around the AAU circuit watching Wiggins' game and seeing how it would fit the mold for Huntington Prep's program.

    In all, Fulford saw more than 20 games of the phenom while also watching several other members of Huntington Prep's program as they traveled with CIA Bounce, an AAU program based out of Toronto.

    If there was ever any question as to whether Wiggins deserved top billing in his class, those were answered earlier this week during the Nike Global Challenge.

    Wiggins averaged 21 points per contest in three games as Canada finished as runner-up in the tournament. The Canadian team beat the U.S. East team 104-83 before falling to U.S. Midwest 99-94.

    "He had a really good tournament and went head-to-head with Jabari Parker (U.S. East), who is No. 1 in the Class of 2013," Fulford said. "Wiggins had 21 points, Parker finished with seven."

    Wiggins headlines a strong group of players in the mix at Huntington Prep.

    In addition to having Wiggins, Negus Webster-Chan and Stefan Jankovic return for the Express while newcomers like Javontae Hawkins, Ray Lee and Xavier Rathan-Mayes are looking to make instant impacts.

    With the influx of talent coming in at each position, it is expected that when the preseason team rankings come out, Huntington Prep will be one of the top teams in the nation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBallfanJ View Post
    ESPN names Wiggins top prospect
    August 13, 2011 @ 12:00 AM
    GRANT TRAYLOR
    The Herald-Dispatch
    HUNTINGTON -- All along, Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford said that Canadian-born talent Andrew Wiggins was the top overall player in the Class of 2014.

    Maybe someone at ESPN was listening to him.

    When ESPN released its Class of 2014 rankings on Friday, Wiggins was rated as the No. 1 prospect in the class.

    "They honestly hadn't seen him play that much, but with him playing with the CIA Bounce program, they had a chance to see him with other elite kids who were older and then with his own age," Fulford said. "There is no comparison. It's no disrespect to the kids behind him in the rankings, but it's not close."

    No one should know better than Fulford.

    Much of his summer was spent traveling around the AAU circuit watching Wiggins' game and seeing how it would fit the mold for Huntington Prep's program.

    In all, Fulford saw more than 20 games of the phenom while also watching several other members of Huntington Prep's program as they traveled with CIA Bounce, an AAU program based out of Toronto.

    If there was ever any question as to whether Wiggins deserved top billing in his class, those were answered earlier this week during the Nike Global Challenge.

    Wiggins averaged 21 points per contest in three games as Canada finished as runner-up in the tournament. The Canadian team beat the U.S. East team 104-83 before falling to U.S. Midwest 99-94.

    "He had a really good tournament and went head-to-head with Jabari Parker (U.S. East), who is No. 1 in the Class of 2013," Fulford said. "Wiggins had 21 points, Parker finished with seven."

    Wiggins headlines a strong group of players in the mix at Huntington Prep.

    In addition to having Wiggins, Negus Webster-Chan and Stefan Jankovic return for the Express while newcomers like Javontae Hawkins, Ray Lee and Xavier Rathan-Mayes are looking to make instant impacts.

    With the influx of talent coming in at each position, it is expected that when the preseason team rankings come out, Huntington Prep will be one of the top teams in the nation.
    His stats were very impressive against a very high level of competition. I would have loved to have seen the final game as many experts believe Jabari Parker to be the best player in high school for any class.

    As a side note, Bennett also got moved way up in ESPN's rankings for the senior class, he is now ranked #8 overall in that class.

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    This kid has landed in a great program. Coach fulford and the Huntington Prep program is top notch. I had the luxory of hosting them last year at our school and it's one of the premier programs in the country.
    Coach J

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    "The Canadian Chosen One" as some posters of insidehoops forums call him. I think it is influenced by the stark comparison to LeBron James and being the highest touted Canadian player ever.
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    Wiggins has led CIA Bounce to a 9-0 record in the first two sessions of the Nike EYBL. He is averaging 17.9 ppg on over 60% shooting from the field.
    http://www.nikeeyb.com/wp-content/up...IA-Bounce1.pdf
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    I watched the Nike Hoop Summit and he didn't shoot well, but still managed to get ~20pts for the winning team. Considering the dude is only 17, that's incredibly impressive. The way he moves, I think he'll have a career between T-mac and LeBron. I'm sold. (Before that game I had no idea who he was.)
    aim low, score high

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    There are rumors that Andrew Wiggins is planning to re-classify to the class of 2013.

    Andrew Wiggins vs. Julius Randle

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    Andrew Wiggins: How I spent my summer

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    This kid really is the next big thing in the NBA. He has expanded his game in the last year and also seems to 'step up' against big competition. That shows that he wants to improve and be great which, coupled with his immense natural talent, makes him about as sure of a future star as anyone in high school.

    I don't see any American prospects as good as him right now

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    The future of Canada Basketball right here!

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