The college recruiting process puts a tremendous amount of pressure on high school athletes, especially those with the most talent and brightest futures. It’s enough pressure to lead to hurried decisions, and to the kind of fanfare that straps unrealistic expectations on 17- and 18-year-old athletes.
Andrew Wiggins hasn’t let any of those factors affect him as he prepares to announce his college destination. For a player with more talent than any recruit in this year’s class, the nation’s top prospect certainly hasn’t allowed the bright lights to rush his decision.
According to Wiggins’ former high school coach, Rob Fulford, the Huntington Prep star will announce his decision May 14 at 12:15 p.m. ET:
Rob Fulford @rfulford
Andrew Wiggins will sign Tuesday at around 12:15. He will not hold a press conference type ceremony. Just classmates, family and friends5/13/2013, 12:32:21 AM
Even after months of speculations and build-up to his decision, Wiggins is choosing to keep the announcement low-key and out of the spotlight.
The 6’8” forward hasn’t had to search for publicity. In fact, he’s done a tremendous job avoiding it as much as possible, keeping the focus on the things that matter most—family, friends and making the right decision for his future.
It’s not easy deflecting that kind of attention. The fact that he has remained humble and rooted proves he is already making the right decisions; what follows is secondary.
Wiggins is expected to choose between Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State—the last of which being considered the most likely option given his familial connection to the school (per Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports).
The forward’s parents both attended Florida State, his father to play basketball and his mother to run track. With family ties (which are obviously important to the 18-year-old) and his apparent desire to avoid the spotlight whenever possible, there’s a good chance Wiggins dons a Seminoles hat when he makes his final decision.
There has been no lack of speculation on the part of media and fans. The draw of programs like North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky can’t be overstated, and the upside of joining any of the three is tremendous—national titles and a top selection in the NBA draft come to mind.
But Wiggins hasn’t allowed any of that to affect his focus. It would be all too easy to make his decision a national spectacle. It’s much more difficult remaining humble and unpretentious in the face of such publicity.
In doing so, Wiggins has affirmed what so many already believe about the top recruit: He deserves the attention, but he isn’t looking for it, and he won’t let it change who he is.
By avoided the national spotlight—even after months of speculation—Wiggins is proving why he should be considered more than just a top recruit. He’s doing it right, and whichever program manages to secure his commitment will be much better off for it.