If his current mindset is any indication, Andrew Wiggins’ voyage to the college basketball throne may not actually run through college basketball royalty.
The best high school hoops prospect since the King himself, Wiggins, according to a source close to the phenom and familiar with his recruitment, appears to favor family bloodline over the regal Calipari lineage. The Huntington Prep star, whose parents were both varsity letter-winners at Florida State, is drawn to the idea of following in their footsteps in Tallahassee.
The Seminoles are the only non-blueblood to appear on Wiggins’ recruiting list, which he scaled down to four schools last week. Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina are the other three finalists.
The recruiting grapevine is abuzz with rumors that Wiggins will end up at either Kentucky or Florida State. Most college basketball recruitniks consider the Wildcats the favorite, if for no other reason but sheer probability. John Calipari’s monopoly on top-shelf high school talent since arriving in Lexington – unthreatened even if he can’t sew up Wiggins – has squelched any reason to bet on the field in a recruitment involving Big Blue.
The source, however, downplayed the perception this is a two-team race that Kentucky is leading.
“This was never Kentucky versus Florida State,” the source said. “I’m not sure where that came from. My guess is people made this assumption based on Kentucky’s reputation and visibility. But Andrew isn’t all about that. His talent is its own best promoter.”
Wiggins, in fact, isn’t particularly fond of the media-intensified spotlight. His vibrant game belies his soft-spoken manner, and while he’s not afraid of the big stage, Wiggins would just as soon take his unbridled talent to a controlled environment.
“I don’t think he’s nearly as struck by the lure of Kentucky as some are led to believe,” the source opined. “What may be enticing to others about Kentucky’s situation – the rabid fans, the Calipari connection, the track record of putting guys in the league – aren’t deal-breakers or deal-makers for him.”
The source added: “Andrew is of a different breed than his peers, more secure within himself.”
Less caught up in modernized fads, too. While his classmates fawn over present-day hoops icons – from LeBron to Kobe and everyone in between – Wiggins harkens back to the days of Michael and the Bulls, a dynasty he didn’t witness live, but appreciates in retrospect.