TOP PREP basketball prospect Andrew Wiggins told a small gathering of family and friends at his high school gym in Huntington, W.Va., yesterday that he will play at Kansas.
Then the Huntington Prep star signed his letter-of-intent and officially became a Jayhawk. No big speech. No bands, live TV coverage or props.
And just like that, Lawrence, Kan., became more of focal point for the upcoming college basketball season.
"I'm looking forward to getting there and just doing my thing," Wiggins said.
The 6-8 Toronto native chose Kansas over Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State. Wiggins said there wasn't one particular selling point, taking into account each school's coaching staff, players and program.
"I just followed my heart," he said.
His addition adds to one of the top recruiting classes in the country. Despite the loss of Ben McLemore to the NBA draft, four of Kansas' five recruits are considered to be in the top 50 nationally, including guards Conner Frankamp and Wayne Selden, forward Brannen Greene and center Joel Embiid.
Wiggins' parents both attended Florida State, and the Seminoles had signed his Huntington Prep teammate and fellow Toronto native, Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Wiggins' father is former NBA first-round pick Mitchell Wiggins. His mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, was a Canadian Olympic sprinter and silver medalist. Older brother Nick Wiggins plays guard at Wichita State and another brother, Mitchell Wiggins Jr., plays at NAIA school Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla.
In other college news:
* Tennessee plans to honor former Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt by building an on-campus statue in her honor. Summitt led the Tennessee women's basketball program to eight national titles and 18 Final Four appearances in 38 seasons before stepping down in April 2012, 1 year after she announced she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. Summitt's 1,098 career victories make her the winnningest Division I men's or women's college basketball coach ever. Summitt remains on Tennessee's staff as head coach emeritus.
* Rutgers reinstated men's lacrosse coach Brian Brecht after suspending him with pay on April 19, following allegations of verbal abuse. The decision comes nearly a month after a university investigation found that the coach used inappropriate language and exhibited unprofessional behavior on occasion at practices. The instances, though, were infrequent and not directed at individual players, the school said. The university also found no criminal or university policy violations.
* The University of Alaska Anchorage is investigating an allegation that its former hockey coach struck a player with a hockey stick. Ex-player Mickey Spencer alleges in an email dated May 1 to university officials that former coach Dave Shyiak hit another player, Nick Haddad, with a hockey stick during an on-campus practice in 2011. Spencer claims the hit was a "'baseball-style' swing across the midsection because Nick messed up in a practice drill," Spencer wrote in the email.
Philly File *
Temple men's basketball team will take part in the the 2nd annual BROOKLYN HOOPS Holiday Invitational, taking on three-time defending Northeast Conference champion LIU Brooklyn on Dec. 21 at Barclays Center. The game is part of a tripleheader that features 2013 NCAA Tournament finalist Michigan against Stanford along with Manhattan vs. Buffalo.
* La Salle's Kevin Conroy was named Big 5 Baseball Player of the Week. Conroy (Father Judge High) batted .455 for the week.
Sport Stops *
Boxer Robert Guerrero, who was arrested at JFK International Airport in New York on gun charges in March, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. Guerrero lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 4 in Las Vegas in a unanimous 12-round decision.
* Slovakia defeated the United States, 4-1, and the Czech Republic routed Norway, 7-0, in group finales to reach the quarterfinals at the ice hockey world championships in Finland. The U.S. had a chance to win the group, but will finish second or third and meet Russia or Finland in a quarterfinal tomorrow.
* Top-ranked Novak Djokovic quickly overcame an early break to cruise past Spanish qualifier Albert Montanes, 6-2, 6-3, and second-seeded Roger Federer routed Italian wild card Potito Starace, 6-1, 6-2, to reach the third round of the Italian Open in Rome.