When I saw my first highlight video of 6-foot-7 guard Andrew Wiggins, my jaw literally dropped to the floor. I saw Wiggins run the floor with such fluidity, take defenders off the dribble, back down opponents in the paint and drunk with such ferocity. The last basketball prospect that had impressed me like that was none other than LeBron James.
If you thought my jaw dropped watching the YouTube videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ47CuHVFvA), that paled in comparison to how shocked I was when I learned more about Andrew Wiggins. The kid is only 15 years old!!!
Wiggins, a native of Toronto has yet to even lace up his size 14 shoes at the high school level. College basketball powerhouses such as North Carolina, Syracuse and Duke have already expressed interest in the Canadian hoops phenom. Many more schools will get into the recruiting mix over the next couple of years as Wiggins will likely remain a top prospect in the class of 2014.
Flourishing at the AAU level and having some experience with the U17 Canadian National team, Wiggins will more than likely have to move to the United States to finish his high school career and solidify being a five-star basketball prospect. The Canadian hoops scene lacks the exposure and competition that Wiggins would get with a move across the border.
Many scouts believed the move stateside would come before Andrew’s freshman year. Wiggins was set to attend Christian Faith Center Academy in Creedmoor, North Carolina; right in the heart of the Carolina hoops hotbed and only 95 miles away from where his father, Mitchell played his high school basketball in La Grange. Instead, Wiggins stayed in Toronto and attends Vaughan Secondary School.
"My dad wants me to make sure I don't go to the States until I'm ready," Wiggins said. "He says I'll be more ready after I turn 16, so that's probably when I'll go. Canada doesn't have as much competition obviously, but my dad helps me with training and I'll have all my family around me for another year so it'll be nice."
Wiggins inevitably will make the move to the United States as early as 2011. When a teenager is dubbed a phenom, people want to see if their talent, upside and potential is actually legit. The only way to truly see how good Andrew Wiggins is, is to let him play against the best high school basketball talent in the USA.
Faring well at the U17 World Championships in July against some of the best college hoops prospects, it is not too far fetched to think that Wiggins in well on his way to being a top prospect, a highly touted recruit and eventually a lottery pick in the NBA Draft. But for now, we will just have to wait and see if Andrew Wiggins is the Canadian LeBron James.