Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Andrew Wiggins and Mentor

High school basketball star Andrew Wiggins made his college choice Tuesday.

He selected Kansas.

The subdued ceremony at Huntington Prep (W.Va.) created a stir. Wiggins was also considering North Carolina, Florida State and  Kentucky.

Wiggins will likely last one year at Kansas. Thin NBA drafts should quickly boost his earning potential.

Maybe Wiggins will resemble Danny Manning and lead Kansas to a national title. Maybe the Jayhawks will flop like they did in the waning stages of this past season's NCAA regional semifinal game against Michigan.

Either way, expect one group of Northeast Ohio teenagers to closely follow Kansas next season.

On its way to winning the Division I state title, Mentor faced Wiggins and Huntington Prep. The Cardinals lost, 61-59, in the Dunk 4 Diabetes Classic on Jan 26 at Walsh University. Wiggins scored 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Facing Wiggins aided Mentor's championship run. How many Ohio teams on Mentor's schedule faced the nation's top forward? None.

Mentor was close to playing Walnut Hills in the state final. Walnut Hills fell to Huntington Prep, 61-54, in December. Walnut Hills lost to Toledo Rogers, 58-51, in the state semifinal.

Benedictine, another News-Herald team, was pounded by Wiggins and Huntington Prep, 81-40, on the second day of the Dunk 4 Diabetes Classic. The Bengals parlayed a difficult schedule into a regional spot in Division II.

For more on Mentor's memorable game against Wiggins, here's John Kampf's game story (with video) from January.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


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