Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Nick Wiggins Says His Parents Want Andrew to Pick Florida State
ATLANTA — Nick Wiggins no longer thinks Kentucky is the best fit for his younger brother and believes his parents want Andrew Wiggins to pick Florida State.
“I think both my parents would like him to go to Florida State University because that’s where my mom and my dad attended school so it would be pretty amazing to see him do that and I believe they would be happy with that decision,” Nick, a junior guard at Wichita State, told SNY.tv during an exclusive interview in the Shockers’ locker room at the Georgia Dome.
He was referring to his parents, former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins, and former Canadian Olympic track star, Marita Payne-Wiggins.
“But I mean they would also be happy with anywhere that he goes to school,” added Nick, who averages 5.0 points and 1.8 rebounds off the bench for the Shockers, who play Louisville here Saturday in one national semifinal.
The 6-foot-8 Andrew Wiggins may attend the game, Nick said, but he has been busy with the McDonald’s All-American Game on Wednesday and will also play in the Jordan Brand Classic April 13 in Brooklyn.
Andrew Wiggins is projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and is considering Kentucky, Kansas, Florida State and North Carolina.
“I’m thinking probably in the next two weeks to three weeks he should make his decision because I think the signing period opens up in the next week or so [April 15],” Nick said. “I’m thinking he’ll probably make his decision pretty soon.”
Although Andrew is so low-key, he may just Tweet out his decision when the time comes, Nick would like to see a full-blown announcement.
“I would like him to do it on an ESPN or something like that, but it’s obviously going to be his decision in the end,” Nick said. “He gets a little shy around cameras, very shy. He’s cool, he’s always smiling, he’s very happy kid, always smiling. I hope he broadcasts it to the nation because he deserves it.”
Last summer, Nick went on record saying he thought Kentucky was the best fit for his younger brother.
But since then, Kentucky has added a stacked recruiting class and now has seven commits, including six McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-Americans.
“Now [Kentucky] has eight or nine All-American guys coming in and I don’t know if it would be the best spot for him to go and shine like he wanted to,” Nick said.
“That’s my personal opinion, I know how the recruiting process is. But it would be special to see him play anywhere as an older brother.”
Nick said his brother, a naturally quiet, shy kid, might want to make his own mark in college, as opposed to joining a group of studs at Kentucky.
“Definitely, I’m sure that he would want to make his own legacy and you could see it kind of on Kentucky’s team this year,” he said.
“They had a lot of stars and it kind of didn’t jell as well as it did the team beofre when it had a lot of freshmen that really jelled together. So it’s just difference in players and putting combinations together. Coach Calipari’s a very good coach so I wouldn’t blame it really at all on him.”
Still, Andrew said this week at the McDonald’s Game that if he did join Julius Randle, Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Marcus Lee, James Young and Derek Willis in Kentucky’s class, they would be the favorites to win it all in 2014.
“If I went to that team we’d win it all, for sure, because there’s nothing anyone can do with me, Julius [Randle], the Harrison twins, Marcus Lee, Dakari [Johnson] and James Young,” Andrew said. “That’s something special.”
If Andrew were to pick Kentucky, he would be practicing daily with a team that will feature eight or nine first-round NBA picks, including the above group plus returnees Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein.
“That’s a good argument, you could say that, too,” Nick said. “That’s always correct when you’re practicing against better guys and you’re playing against your kind of competition, that would always improve you as a player, especially along the course of a season.
“But he’s great now, he’s a great player. It’s scary how much better he could get in the next two or three years.”
Nick said he, Andrew and their older brother, Mitchell Wiggins, who now plays for Southeastern University, all played with and against one another growing up and made each other better.
“I can’t take all the credit for that [making Andrew better],” Nick said. “His coaches. [Huntington Prep coach] Rob [Fulford] has been teaching him how to be tougher on the court and making winning plays and being a leader. His AAU coaches, Mike George and Tony McIntyre , they’re all great people, too, and great supporters.”
Nick was swarmed by a group of reporters after talking to SNY.tv and said he doesn’t tire of talking about his younger brother.
“I love talking about him,” Nick said. “I get questions about him every day, it just keeps me happy, man. You know, I’m jut proud of him. He’s made it so far. He’s very successful.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.