Sonny Vaccaro knows a thing or two about the sneaker wars.
Having signed Michael Jordan (Nike) and Kobe Bryant (Adidas) to their mega-million-dollar shoe deals, and endeavored to do the same with LeBron James, no man walking planet Earth knows more about the business than Vaccaro.
So when he says that Andrew Wiggins could inspire a unique kind of sneaker war in 2014, it pays to listen.
The 6-foot-7 Wiggins made the announcement before his parents and teammates at Huntington (W.V.) St. Joseph Central Catholic School, choosing a low-key signing instead of a big-time press conference or an announcement on ESPN.
Wiggins is the consensus No. 1 player in the Class of 2013 and is projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
If Andrew Wiggins does pick Kentucky on Tuesday, thereby giving coach John Calipari seven McDonald’s All-Americans on next year’s roster, it still wouldn’t be the greatest recruiting class in the history of college basketball.
So says Tom Konchalski, who has been covering high school recruiting since the 1960s and has authored the High School Basketball Insider since 1979.
According to Konchalski, UCLA scored the greatest recruiting class ever when it landed Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. out of New York’s Power Memorial Academy in 1965.
Andrew Wiggins’s host mother would like to see him play for the defending champs.
“If it was my choice, I’d say he should go to Louisville,” Lesley Thomas, who has been Wiggins’ host mom in West Virginia since he enrolled at Huntington Prep, told the Courier-Journal. “Yes, I would have, because I love Coach Pitino’s program.”
Louisville already figures to be in the mix for a third straight Final Four appearance with the return of Russ Smith to a group that includes Luke Hancock, Wayne Blackshear, Chane Behanan, Montrezl Harrell and an incoming recruiting class headlined by junior college point guard Chris Jones, the National Junior College Player of the Year. Can you imagine if Wiggins joined the party, too?
Thomas hosted Louisville center Gorgui Dieng when he lived in Huntington. Dieng is now headed to the NBA Draft.
Andrew Wiggins is expected to suit up this summer with the Canadian U19 team in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men, but his future college coach could have something to say about that.
“All indications have been up until now that he is going to play but still his college choice may affect that so I can’t really say either way yet,” Canadian Junior National Team coach Roy Rana told SNY.tv Thursday.
“Once he makes the decision where he’s going to go to school, then obviously that will become part of the equation.”
While the basketball world waits for Andrew Wiggins to make an announcement on his college choice, his brother says no decision has yet been made.
“The days are counting down,” Nick Wiggins, Andrew’s older brother and a junior at Wichita State, told SNY.tv. “When he is ready to make his decision he will make it.”
The NCAA late signing period runs through May 15, meaning Andrew Wiggins could sign a Letter of Intent through that date. If he were to make his decision after that date, he could just sign scholarship papers. To read more of this story, click here