The Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers–Nick Wiggins has had a busy month flying around America, auditioning for NBA teams.
It has been an unpredictable month, as the 6’6 shooting guard prepares for the next step as a professional basketball player.
“I didn’t know what to expect, all I have is my game and my confidence, and it has helped,” Wiggins told North Pole Hoops, regarding his thoughts on the last few weeks.
I have tracked his progress since high school and Wiggins’ combination of confidence and persistence has always been a distinguishing part of who he is, which has allowed him to excel at every level he’s played at.
“You got to walk through the doors. If you don’t walk in with your confidence high, what’s the point?” he explained.
The Vaughan Secondary alum has come a long way, and is fresh off a historical regular season with Wichita State, where the Shockers became the second team in NCAA history to go 34-0; The 1990-91 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels were the only other team to do it.
For WSU, Wiggins played his role off the bench to provide a boost for the back-to-back NCAA tournament team. He averaged 5.1 PPG & 2.3 RPG in 15 minutes.
Greg Heiar, Wichita State assistant coach, who recruited Wiggins out of Wabash Valley JUCO had this to say:
Nick is an unbelievable young man, a great person who does the right things. We were very fortunate to have him for two years and to accept the role he had here; the type of teammate he was and the type of man. He was never a distraction.
Heiar described Wiggins as a very talented player with great size who can shoot and put the ball on the floor. He added that he became a better defender and got tougher in the two years at WSU.
“He became a better competitor and a better winner,” Heiar told North Pole Hoops.
From being a primary scorer on a team (17 PPG) and leading Wabash JUCO to the national tournament, to accepting his role with the Shockers…Wiggins has adapted.
“A confident young man, and he should be; he understands all the different aspects of a team,” said Heiar.
As for Wiggins’ pro aspirations?
“It’s all in his hands. My wife said since he’s got here that he’s going to play in the NBA some day. I think he will have a great pro career wherever he goes because he’s coachable, can relate to people, and a good teammate. The pro team is gonna love him wherever he goes.”
The resume does not scream NBA, however Wiggins has been grateful for the opportunities that he has received (through strong representation) and preparation.
That being said, he is not ready to rule out his name being called on June 26.
“The draft is very emotional…I’ve seen guys not on the draft board get drafted. I don’t really pay to much attention to the draft boards,” said Wiggins.
“I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff happen,” he continued.
For Wiggins, his basketball journey has been a constant uphill battle, very different from his younger brother Andrew, who is expected to be a Top-3 overall NBA selection.
The older Wiggins has been the underdog, working for every minute of playing time and staying prepared for when his name is called.
From his collective experiences, to where he stands today, Nick Wiggins is exactly where he hoped he would be.
“A win for me? Man, I feel like right now I’m winning, going through this process, meeting the teams and them learning about me.”
On draft day next week, if the only “Wiggins” that is called up is Andrew, it’s back to the drawing board for big bro.
“I will try and make a team for summer league,” he explained. “You are playing for one team but all 30 teams are watching you, playing for everybody. If you catch one person’s eye, that could be your ticket.”
Wiggins’ motto has never changed. #OneGoal still in effect.
Nick on his younger brother Andrew, and his potential landing spot, “He doesn’t have a choice…hes gonna play for any team that gives him an opportunity…hopefully it’s Cleveland, his goal is to be number one.”
Andrew Wiggins making progress
“His shot, the way its coming off his hand is fluid. He’s working hard at it, getting his release off quick. He’s more bouncy, which is hard to believe, but seeing his activity level, it’s very high.”
“We played 1-on-1 last summer…he’s long,” the older Wiggins laughed. “We’re no longer in grade 11 and I can take him to the rim…that’s getting swatted now.”
“I can see his drive elevating…he’s not trying to lose games; he hates to lose more than he likes to win.”