SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The potential of Andrew Wiggins, the Canadian basketball phenom considered the best high school-aged player in the world, is layered in hyperbole.
Recruiting analyst Tom Konchalski says that Wiggins can be the "Michael Jordan of Canada." Former Canadian national team coach Leo Rautins says that Wiggins has the potential to be an NBA All-Star and, perhaps, someday battle for MVP. Steve Konchalski, Tom's brother and a long-time fixture with the Canadian national team, says that Wiggins can be the best player the country has ever produced.
Wiggins, a senior at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, is choosing between Florida State, Kentucky, UNC and Kansas and is said to be leaning toward Florida State. The son of a former NBA player and a Canadian Olympic sprinter, no one will question the 6-foot-8 Wiggins' genes or athleticism.
But Wiggins must carry with him the burden of a country's basketball hopes, its legacy of underachieving players and a reputation for only playing hard when necessary.
In order for Wiggins to exploit his potential and live up to his No. 1 ranking, he must outrace a country's reputation for producing can't-miss prospects that miss.