Consensus No. 1 overall recruit Andrew Wiggins has been named the Gatorade National Player of the Year, an award that not only honors success in basketball, but character and academic achievements as well.
The 18-year-old has already been named the Naismith High School Player of the Year and has been invited to participate in the McDonald's All-American game, the Jordan Brand Classic and the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit to play for the World Select team for the second consecutive year.
While there's a No. 1 high school player every year, Andrew Wiggins is not your ordinary No. 1 talent. This is a kid who scouts view as a potential franchise-changing talent. If he were eligible for the 2013 NBA draft, Wiggins would be a near-consensus for the top overall selection.
Wiggins is essentially a lock to go No. 1 overall in the 2014 draft.
The Gatorade Player of the Year was nice enough to give Bleacher Report a few minutes of his time to talk about his award, the NCAA tournament and his future in the game that we all know and love.
Bleacher Report: So you've been named the Naismith Player of the Year, and now the Gatorade Player of the Year, which honors not just your on-court achievements, but your achievements off the court as well. What's your overall reaction?
Andrew Wiggins: It's great to be honored with some of the best athletes in the world. I'm thankful for the moment, and I thank God and hope everything keeps going in the right direction.
B/R: Was it cool having Alonzo Mourning deliver the message?
Wiggins: It was great; I didn't expect it. I just came in today thinking it was going to be a normal school day, until he walked in the door and I was just...shocked.
B/R: You've been in the public eye for a few years now; are you getting comfortable with all the attention and the national exposure, or do these awards and the media attention add some unwanted pressure?
Wiggins: Not really, I'm used to it by now.
B/R: Have you been watching March Madness, and are there any teams in particular you have your eye on?
Wiggins: Wichita State.
B/R: What has your brother told you about the whole experience? [His brother is Nick Wiggins, guard for the Shockers.]
Wiggins: He says it's crazy...he told me about how all the fans were, all the games and especially going to the Sweet 16. It's just crazy.
B/R: As a fan of the game, what do you think about what Florida Gulf Coast is doing?
Wiggins: It's crazy. Nobody expected them to go this far. It's cool when underdogs go far in the tournament like that. They're really messing up a lot of brackets.
B/R: Can we get a prediction? Who's winning the NCAA tournament?
Wiggins: I'm going Wichita State.
B/R: Right now in college basketball, the consensus is that there isn't really a marquee player or a lock for the No. 1 overall pick. Do you agree, or are there a few guys you think are going to be special?
Wiggins: There's a couple of players I like but that's just because I'm biased towards the people I know.
B/R: What is it about you, Andrew Wiggins, that makes you such a highly coveted and sought-after prospect?
Wiggins: I just play my game, I don't really know... I do a lot of things well, I'm very athletic, I play against guys who are also very athletic. And I have good genes.
B/R: Yes, you do have good genes, nobody would argue that. [His father Mitchell played in the pros and his mother was an Olympic track athlete.] I know you're in the process of making a decision on where you wanted to go to college—is there one factor that you value over the other that will influence your decision?
Wiggins: I really don't know.
B/R: Is there a certain style of play or specific offensive set that's best suited for your game?
Wiggins: I think all the schools I'm looking at now [Kentucky, Florida State, Kansas, North Carolina], I can play in all of their offenses.
B/R: Is there anyone you're really looking forward to playing either in college or the pros?
Wiggins: All the best players in the NBA now—like LeBron [James], Kevin Durant, Kobe [Bryant], Carmelo [Anthony].
B/R: Most people know you as Andrew Wiggins the basketball star, but who is Andrew Wiggins off the court?
Wiggins: I'm a chill guy, a very normal guy. I hang out with my friends, play video games. I'm just a normal kid.
B/R: When it's all said and done and you look back on your career, what is it that you want people to remember you for?
Wiggins: A good basketball player, but a better person.
Follow NBA Draft Lead Writer Jonathan Wasserman on Twitter @NBADraftWass
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