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Vitztum, TMP boys storm by Colby -3/6/2015, 10:27 AM

Mickelson could play another big role for KU -3/6/2015, 10:27 AM

Hoxie ties record, has bigger goals in mind -3/6/2015, 11:05 AM

Berens' big night keys HHS win -3/6/2015, 10:27 AM

Thursday's prep basketball boxscores -3/6/2015, 10:27 AM

MLS and players reach deal -3/5/2015, 10:58 AM

KU's Ellis out vs. OU -3/5/2015, 10:58 AM

Kacperska ready to step up -3/5/2015, 10:58 AM

Gregorian: Royals' bats come alive in exhibition -3/5/2015, 10:57 AM

Wichita State's Wessel, Carter chosen for MVC's Most-Improved Team -3/5/2015, 10:57 AM

TV analyst Mark Adams loves the MVC -3/5/2015, 10:57 AM

Bills get their workhorse back in LeSean McCoy -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Perry Ellis will miss regular season finale -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Kansas rallies, wins Big 12 outright -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Wildcats have shot at tourney? -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Lehman, Hobson collect MIAA honors -3/4/2015, 1:44 PM

Two headed to nationals for Tiger track -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Tiger softball earns Tuesday sweep -3/3/2015, 7:45 PM

Season ends for FHSU men -3/3/2015, 10:20 AM

Claflin great Jackie Stiles inducted into NFHS Hall of Fame -3/3/2015, 10:19 AM

KU's Big 12 streak one for the ages -3/3/2015, 10:10 AM

FHSU's Keehn wins second MIAA title in track -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Wessel continues to spark Shockers -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Ronda Rousey's fast work, like at UFC 184, a big draw -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Minnie Minoso's love of baseball never waned -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

FHSU wrestling sending four to nationals -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Kansas State rallies late to put away Iowa State -3/1/2015, 9:33 AM

No. 8 Kansas holds on to defeat Texas, 69-64 -3/1/2015, 9:31 AM

Wichita State captures MVC crown by beating Northern Iowa -3/1/2015, 9:30 AM

Ellis' Younger cruises through Friday at 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Hays High's Deterding second in 4A -3/1/2015, 9:58 AM

Norton wins title with backside points -3/1/2015, 9:36 AM

Hoxie's Porsch repeats in 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:43 AM

FHSU splits at Northeastern State -3/1/2015, 9:41 AM

HHS girls win on senior night -3/1/2015, 9:40 AM

HHS boys roll by Great Bend -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Class 3-2-1A State Wrestling finals results -2/28/2015, 9:37 AM

Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Bowyer, after crash, slams qualifying format -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
Wiggins the next big thing?

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Wiggins the next big thing?

Published on -8/16/2014, 5:11 PM

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By Kent Youngblood

McClatchy-Tribune

They were at the NBA rookie symposium recently, ready to pose for a photo shoot, when it just happened. An impromptu slam-dunk contest.

Memphis' Jarnell Stokes did a reverse. Meh.

Then the Timberwolves' Glenn Robinson III did a 360. Nice.

Fellow Wolf Zach LaVine bounced it off the wall, took it through his legs and put it down. Impressive.

And then: Andrew Wiggins. He casually dribbled into the lane, jumped, did a 360 while moving the ball behind his back, and dunked.

Wow. This is what Wolves fans should look forward to this fall.

Wiggins was wearing a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey during all this. Go ahead and watch ... it's on YouTube, of course. In the digital age you can watch young stars grow up on video.

Certainly that's true for Wiggins, a Toronto native whose nickname is Maple Jordan. He had a dunk highlight tape at 13. It's not hard to find video of him at the Nike Peach Jam in 2012, where he dominated Julius Randle, becoming the top high school recruit in the nation. Or his appearance at LeBron James' skills camp that same year, when he brought James himself to his feet.

Was it kismet that had Robinson, LaVine and Wiggins playing around? Maybe not. With the word that the Wolves will send Kevin Love to Cleveland for a package that includes Wiggins -- the top pick in June's draft after a strong freshman season at Kansas -- Wolves fans should get to know the 6-8, 200-pounder with the 7-foot wingspan and 44-inch vertical jump.

According to Kansas coach Bill Self, Wiggins is the best natural athlete who has ever played for him.

"Ben McLemore was a freak," Self said. "Brandon Rush was unbelievable. But when Andrew is turned up? He can do things athletically nobody else can do."

The Wolves, rebuilding again, will likely give him all the room and opportunity he needs to grow.

"That's the way he sees it," Self said. "He's happy. Don't anybody feel sorry for him. I'm not saying he hasn't been in limbo and that it hasn't, at times, been frustrating. But he told me, 'Coach, I'm good with this.' He told me that two weeks ago.''

So when the trade officially happens, Wiggins will arrive in Minnesota, aware of the hype that will come along for the ride. But he's used to it.

* * *

Wiggins, 19, was born into a very athletic family. His father, Mitchell, played six years in the NBA before extending his career overseas; indeed, it was in Greece that a very young Andrew fell in love with the game, able to accompany his dad to practices and games.

His mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, won two silver medals at the 1984 Olympics as part of Canada's 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams. She still holds national records in the 200 and 400.

His older brother, Nick, played at Wichita State.

Wiggins decided to play at Kansas in large part because he would be close to his brother, who was a senior last season. Raised in a religious home, Andrew Wiggins and his siblings still get inspirational texts almost daily from their mother.

If Wiggins fell in love with the game in Greece, it was when the family moved back to suburban Toronto that the ball really got rolling. Noting his son was getting his best competition during family games in the driveway, Mitchell moved Andrew to Huntington (W.Va.) Prep to finish his high school career. By then he was already highly touted, but restrained.

In fact, Wiggins has always had an interesting combination of confidence and humility. He grew up admiring Vince Carter and in high school talked about being able to score like Kevin Durant and get to the hoop like James.

At the same time, he kept college recruiting low key. It finally came down to Florida State (where his parents met), North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas. When he chose Kansas, he first told a reporter for his high school newspaper.

"He's the most humble great player I've ever seen," said Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend, who did much of the recruiting of Wiggins. "He is not phony.''

When Wiggins left Huntington Prep, he wrote an open letter thanking everyone from teachers to coaches to classmates to the school janitor. Townsend remembers the day Wiggins landed in Lawrence for his first summer camp to find thousands of fans waiting. He spent more than an hour signing autographs. After his last college home game, he walked out of the locker room to find thousands more fans waiting to say goodbye. For hours, he signed his name for anyone who asked.

"Those fans were four and five deep," Townsend said. "Lined up, down the hallways. I went out to try to save him. But he said, 'No. They waited a long time for this, I'm going to sign every one.' "

* * *

Wiggins is making a big jump, one he might struggle with. Self knows this. When asked what the Timberwolves were getting, Self said: "An untapped athlete with a skill set that's going to be tremendous in a short period of time. His skill set hasn't quite caught up to his athletic ability. But when he gets more consistent, he's going to be terrific.''

Wiggins scored more points than any freshman in Jayhawks history. He was Big 12 Freshman of the Year, on the all-conference first team, an All-America. But there were questions.

Even Self admitted that, at least to begin with, Wiggins was too nice. Certainly too deferential to teammates. To this day the most flamboyant thing Self ever saw Wiggins do was don the gaudy suit he wore to the NBA draft.

But, pushed relentlessly by Self, Wiggins got better as the year went on. "Coach Self really, at the end of the year, brought out the dog in me," Wiggins said in a predraft interview with ESPN. "He made me get focused."

Said Self: "He absolutely was too nice. And he's still too nice. Flip [Saunders] will have to get more of that dog in him. He's just young.''

The tools are undeniable. His quickness, lateral movement and reach make him a strong defender. Townsend says Wiggins' second jump is the most impressive he's ever seen. Wiggins shot 44.8 percent overall at Kansas, 34.1 percent on three-pointers, and averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Self said Wiggins needs to work on his ball-handling and passing: "As he gets better at ball-handling, he'll get to the basket more.''

Former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst George Karl is skeptical that Wiggins' skills will catch up to his ability. "He's in the top 10 percent of the league athletically," Karl said. "But where are his skills?"

ESPN college analyst Jay Bilas remembers watching a game when Wiggins jumped out of bounds but got back in and to the rim in one move. "It's like watching a cat," Bilas said. "That's natural ability, and it serves him well. But his ball skills have to improve. ... I think he's got a chance to be very good, an elite-level defender. The one question mark: Does he have the motor and drive to be a great player?''

Not surprisingly, both Self and Townsend say yes.

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