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Wiggins chooses Huntington Prep

Jul. 30, 2011 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Andrew Wiggins, one of the most most coveted boys basketball players in the high school Class of 2014, is coming to town.

Wiggins, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound small forward prospect from Canada, announced Friday night via Twitter that he will be playing for Huntington Prep Academy with his brother Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

"Adding a kid of his caliber not only helps locally with fan base to get people excited, it does so nationally," Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford said. "He's the No. 1-rated player in the class, and he'll be that way for three years. He'll be a great player and huge recruiting tool. We'll be excited to see the preseason rankings, but obviously we are more interested in where we are at the end."

Wiggins grades out to a 98 on ESPN's recruiting services and is the No. 3 overall prospect on ESPNU's Terrific 25 list for the Class of 2014.

Earlier this month, Wiggins turned plenty of heads at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam while playing for CIA Bounce, an AAU team based out of Toronto. Wiggins drew raves as the top long-term prospect and was featured in several ESPN and YouTube videos for his high-flying dunks in the tournament, which CIA Bounce-Team Takeover Canada won.

That athleticism and ability to score are big additions to an already-loaded Huntington Prep team for the 2011-12 season.

"With next year's group coming in -- from top to bottom -- we have so many high-major guys ," Fulford said. "Obviously with Wiggins, it creates a certain buzz around town. We are all proud of this state and we are starting to become a household name."

Wiggins is the son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins, who was the 23rd pick in the 1983 draft by the Indiana Pacers. He never played for the Pacers, but went on to play for three NBA teams (Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers) before going overseas to finish out his career.

Recruiting services say Wiggins is easily on his way to following in his father's footsteps.

"No doubt, Andrew comes from a great pedigree. His dad was the 23rd pick of the draft and his mom (Marita Payne) was a two-time silver medalist in the Olympics for Canada," Fulford said. "He still looks like he's 12, and it's scary how good he could be because he is still going to grow and get better."

Fulford's relationship with other Canadian players and a Tri-State visit by Wiggins and his father before the summer AAU circuit began helped seal the deal.

"Every kid that we've had visit Huntington has come here, loved it and committed to coming here. That says a lot about the town and the program," Fulford said. "His dad came on the visit with him and saw how committed to family that we are.

"He understood that not only have we been there recruiting him, but he also sees that we have Andrew's best interest at heart."

Other Canadian prospects who have come through the CIA Bounce AAU program to Huntington Prep include former player Sim Bhullar (committed to Xavier) and current team members Negus Webster-Chan, Stefan Jankovic, Tanveer Bhullar and Rathan-Mayes.

Wiggins already has offers and interest from major college programs such as Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina and Florida State -- his father's alma mater.