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Wiggins awarded West Virginia Player of Year

Mar. 23, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The accolades just keep coming in for Huntington Prep basketball standout Andrew Wiggins.

Earlier this week, the top-ranked high school player in the class of 2013 was named as the Gatorade West Virginia Boys Basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive time.

The 6-foot-8, 215-pound Wiggins led Huntington Prep to a 30-win season and a top 10 ranking in national polls.

He is the hot-button name in high school basketball right now as he prepares to make his college choice in the next two months.

Wiggins averaged 23.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.5 assists per game.

His top performance was a 57-point outing on Feb. 7 against Marietta College JV in a game played at Point Pleasant High School.

In that game, Wiggins finished 24-of-28 from the floor with 13 rebounds and four blocks.

The effort came just hours after Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel wrote a story asking if Wiggins would be the next Canadian-born player with more hype than hope or whether he would deliver on his potential.

Oldsmar Christian head coach Jordan Fair got to see Wiggins up close on two separate occasions this year and is convinced he is the real deal.

"He's very explosive on the break and he's nearly impossible to guard in the half-court with his post-up ability and length," Fair said. "I think he's the best high school basketball player in the country."

Wiggins, who reclassified in the fall from the Class of 2014 to the Class of 2013, still maintained his status as the nation's top player after leading the Express to a No. 1 ranking throughout the early part of the season.

In addition to being one of the top players in the country and leading one of the top teams, Wiggins also has helped out in the Huntington community while maintaining a B average at Huntington St. Joseph Central Catholic School.

Recently, Wiggins and his teammates were part of a benefit game at Huntington St. Joe to raise money for UNICEF. He has also visited sick children at Cabell Huntington Hospital's Children's Hospital, raised money and donations for Toys for Tots and has given his time to host free basketball clinics for underprivileged youth in the Huntington area.

Wiggins becomes just the second player in West Virginia boys basketball history to be a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year award recipient.

Huntington High's Patrick Patterson was the first to accomplish the feat in 2006 and 2007.

In all, five players in the Tri-State have earned the award in its 28-year existence. Those players include Wiggins (2012 and 2013), Patterson (2006 and 2007), Spring Valley's Brandon Moore (2003), Cabell Midland's Mark Patton (2002) and Vinson's Sean Jackson (1987).

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