From many, there will be one. While there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior small forward, Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.)
Greatness Present: Although none of the last five prep boys to win the Naismith award has taken home national Gatorade honors, Wiggins by no means hurt his cause when he earned Naismith National High School Player of the Year recognition on Monday. The hardware capped a flashy weekend at the inaugural Beast Athletics Shootout for Wiggins, who scored 17 points in a lopsided win over Oldsmar Christian (Oldsmar, Fla.) last Friday night. He then soared to a web-sensation dunk in an upset loss to The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.) on Saturday. Wiggins has averaged 23.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 2.4 steals and 2.3 assists per game while leading the Express to a 28-3 mark and the No. 10 spot in the USA TODAY Super 25.
Greatness Past: A Toronto native, Wiggins earned 2011-12 Gatorade West Virginia Boys Basketball Player of the Year as a sophomore. This past summer, he led Canada’s Junior Men’s National Team in scoring and to a third-place finish at the FIBA Americas U18 Championships. As soon as the 6-foot-8, 215-pound small forward reclassified from the Class of 2014 to the Class of 2013 in October, he became the No. 1 senior prospect in the country, according to virtually every recruiting service.
Greatness Future: Wiggins is undecided on a college, though Florida State — where teammate and friend Xavier Rathan-Mayes has committed — and Kentucky are considered favorites.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.