15 Things You Didn’t Know About Andrew Wiggins

By , Complex
Now that the NFL season is over, and Eli Manning no longer has any thread of hope in winning an argument against his brother ever again, it’s time to focus on today’s true American past time: the NBA. You know, the league that will be celebrating its stars in Canada this weekend. One of those stars is Andrew Wiggins, a 20-year-old shy guy who has been followed and recruited since he was just a young teen. Now in his sophomore season, as one of the leaders of the young and talented Minnesota Timberwolves, he’s primed to be in the spotlight for years to come. Get to know him a little better before he performs in this weekend’s Rising Stars Challenge.

Wiggins’ athleticism and play might be compared to current NBA greats like LeBron James and Kevin Durant, but part of his early obsession with the NBA had to do with prolific scorer and polarizing personality Allen Iverson.

But he’s given a couple different answers when asked to name his favorite player. One was Vince Carter, as well, which makes a whole lot of sense, ‘cause, you know.

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That’s 85.7 percent, for those who are counting. Wiggins dropped 57 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks in a 111-59 win, and scored from all over the court.

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Oh, you thought you were going to see Andrew Wiggins compete with fellow skywalker Zach LaVine in this year’s dunk contest, huh? You might have to wait for some extremely rare warm-up line to see that happen. Wiggins got robbed when he was in a McDonald’s All-American contest; he seems salty about it and probably thinks he should have won, so he doesn’t do that any longer. No more showtime dunking for him.

He doesn’t completely rule it out, saying, “Maybe one day,” in an extremely skeptical tone, but don’t count on it.

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You knew he was moved by Cleveland to Minnesota in a deal for Kevin Love, but did you know he’s in the rare company of Chris Webber? C-Webb was originally drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1993 and was traded to the Golden State Warriors for another legend, Anfernee Hardaway, and three first-round picks. Maybe DADA will sign Wiggins and give him a signature shoe, as well.

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Wiggins spent the first two years of high school at Vaughan Secondary School in Vaughan, Ontario, and only lost one of his 45 games there. In order to play against tougher competition, he transferred to West Virginia basketball powerhouse Huntington Prep. The school’s pedigree was a major reason he picked Huntington, but it was deeper than that.

“Last year, that’s the reason why I came here, because the Canadians were on the team, said Wiggins. “So I felt comfortable right away. It makes you feel like you’re back home, like you’re not missing anything. Montaqe [Gill-Ceasar] is my childhood friend, and I used to chill with Xavier [Xavier Rathan-Mayes].”

Interestingly enough, Wiggins’ current teammate Gorgui Dieng played under the same coach at Huntington a few years before Andrew got to the squad.

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Wiggins has been a confident player from the jump, but he’s far from cocky. He’s fully aware of his talent and abilities, but he doesn’t wave it in people’s faces off the court, or make a big show out of being touted as one of the best purely athletic talents since LeBron. Apparently he only does that when his teammates go off.

“If he has a big game, he doesn’t talk a lot of mess,” teammate and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine told ESPN. “But when I was having a pretty good game, I had a dunk, he was talking mess for me and yelling. He gets more pumped up when his teammates do well than when he does.”

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According to this interview, Wiggins thinks Goku is a superhero. Whether the Dragonball Z character is or is not an actual superhero is up for debate, but Goku can obviously can go “Super Saiyan,” so that’s gotta count for something, right?

Wiggins must love Jeremy Lin’s incredible hair.

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In 34 minutes, he logged 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, and 4 turnovers on 1-of-6 shooting. The team shot a combined 19-for-58 and lost to Stanford in a second round of the NCAA Tournament. He obviously wasn’t the only reason a No. 2 seed fell to a No. 10, but he certainly didn’t lead the way.

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Wiggins didn’t give much indication into what really guided him to pick Kansas, aside from the generic press release jibber jabber. But he’s known for being close with his family, and the fact that his older brother Nick Wiggins was playing ball for Wichita State a couple of hours away certainly couldn’t have hurt.

In what would have been an amazingly awesome family storyline, the Timberwolves actually briefly signed Nick Wiggins before waving him about a month later.

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Wiggins is humble on the court, but there’s one thing he’ll tell you he’s the greatest at: Call of Duty, particularly Black Ops. He reportedly plays everyday for a couple of hours, often with his teammate and friend Karl-Anthony Towns. Twenty-year-olds gon’ 20-year-old.

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In this interview from before Wiggins had even picked a high school, he mentions North Carolina, Florida State, and Syracuse as potential options. When asked what he is looking for in a college, he says he wanted a skills coach to develop his game, as well as a coach who would push him to his limit, good teammates, and a school with a winning pedigree.

Aside from occasional interviews like that, Wiggins was quite mum during the college recruiting process, even leaving Kansas coach Bill Self completely in the dark. Self didn’t even know Kansas was for sure in the mix until Wiggins gave a small, quick announcement that he’d be taking his talents to Lawrence.

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If there were prop bets on what Wiggins would grow up to be, all the money surely would have been on “athlete.” His mom, Marita Payne-Wiggins was a Canadian Olympic track and field star, and his pops, Mitchell Wiggins, played six years in the NBA.

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If you follow Wiggy on Instagram (and actually pay attention), you’ll likely know this already. He’s posted photos with J. Cole, Fabolous, and Kanye West. And Kanye is even smiling in the photos! Wiggins is already a legend just for that.

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Yeah, apparently he’s a cat guy, which is a telling fact all on its own. But the best part is the name: Lugia…as in Lugia the Pokémon. Or maybe that’s just KAT’s nickname. Stay woke.

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