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.
Column: Wiggins Would Need to Reclassify to Make McDonald’s Game
Andrew Wiggins and the people around him learned this much from the Nerlens Noel experience last season.
If you’re going to reclassify, do it relatively early.
Don’t wait until the last minute.
As you may recall, Noel waited until Feb. 1 to reclassify to 2012 from 2013, thus dramatically impacting both the spring recruiting landscape and the projected 2013 NBA Draft in one fell swoop.
The 6-foot-7 Wiggins, 17, now finds himself in a similar situation.
The son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins and former Canadian Olympic runner Marita Payne, he could opt to reclassify to 2013 or stay in his current class of 2014.
It says here that he and his family will likely decide to reclassify to 2013, thus getting him to college (Kentucky or Florida State are the most likely destinations) next fall and pushing him into the 2014 NBA Draft instead of 2015.
After all, after asserting his dominance this summer on the AAU circuit, including a victory over Julius Randle in the Jabari Parker-less Peach Jam, what else is there left to prove on the AAU circuit?
All that’s left for Wiggins on the high school level is to pursue a mythical national championship at Huntington (W.V.) Prep alongside a loaded team that includes Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Dominic Woodson and Moses Kingsley.
If Wiggins wants to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game in 2013, he also needs to reclassify relatively soon. Like in the next several months.
“The thing with Nerlens Noel, he announced on Feb. 1 that he was a senior but all the balloting [for the McDonald’s Game] had been done in January,” Tom Konchalski, the longtime New York recruiting expert and McDonald’s Game advisor, told SNY.tv. “The final balloting had been done in January so that was too late.”
So if Wiggins wants to be an All-American, “He would have to do it before the balloting process begins, which is early January,” Konchalski added.
Wiggins wouldn’t be the first Canadian All-American, but he might be the best.
“Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Myck Kabongo, they’re all McDonald’s All-Ameircans,” Konchalski said. “If you play high school basketball in the United States, you are eligible.”
And you can bet Wiggins and his family learned this much from Noel.
If you’re going to reclassify, better to do it early rather than late.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.