The wait to see North America's premier high school player face college competition will be one year shorter than originally anticipated.
Huntington Prep forward Andrew Wiggins, previously the top player in the Class of 2014, will reclassify to the Class of 2013, his father Mitchell Wiggins confirmed to Rivals.com on Thursday. The 6-foot-7 Canadian, who is from Thornhill, Ontario, was considered the best prospect in all of high school basketball as early as last winter, more promising even than future college stars like Jabari Parker or Shabazz Muhammad.
"It's time," the elder Wiggins told USA Today, which first reported the story. "It's time for him [to show] that he is the best in college right now. I think he is ready for the next step. Academically-wise he is doing great. Maturity-wise he is doing great. He has a lot of talent. He is ready for the next step, and everybody knows it's time. It is Andrew's time. Next year is coming soon and he's ready."
Wiggins' decision to enroll in college a year early is no surprise considering his family has acknowledged for months that it was a possibility. Since players can only enter the NBA draft a year or more after they graduate high school, this enables Wiggins to turn pro in 2014 rather than 2015, guaranteeing him one more year of earning potential.
In addition to hastening Wiggins' first payday, entering college early also accelerates what promises to be an intriguing recruiting battle between Kentucky, Florida State and perhaps ate-comers like North Carolina and Kansas.
The selling points for the Wildcats are the usual: the ability to contend for a national championship and play for a coach who has proven he can develop future lottery picks faster than his peers. Florida State's appeal is Wiggins' father starred for the Seminoles for two years before being taken 23rd in the 1983 NBA Draft and embarking on a successful pro career.
If Wiggins opts for Kentucky, he could ensure the Wildcats land one of the best classes of all time on paper.
Kentucky already has commitments from twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison, fellow guard James Young and power forward Marcus Lee. Not only would Wiggins give John Calipari four of the top 10 and five of the top 25 prospects in the Class of 2013, Kentucky is still recruiting two other top 10 players, forward Aaron Gordon and big man Julius Randle.