Why do those close to Andrew Wiggins consistently laud the nation's best high school basketball prospect for his character and humility?
Probably because so few of his peers would ever think to do something like what he did after graduating from Huntington Prep in West Va. on Friday.
Two days later, Wiggins wrote a letter to the Huntington community in Sunday's edition of the town's local newspaper, The Herald-Dispatch. From his host family, to his classmates and teachers, to even the school janitor, the Canada native thanks everyone involved in his life for their support during his two years of prep school. It reads, in part:
I just wanted to thank Huntington for your support for me and my Huntington Prep teammates and coaches these past two years. Without the community, none of what has been accomplished would have been attainable. I hope that when you hear or read my name, you are proud to say I played my high school days here in Huntington. Because I am proud to say I played here. [...]
One of the best things about my experience here is St. Joseph Central Catholic H.S. where we all attend. There are a lot of good people in that building from the principal to the teachers to the janitor; I will never forget all the positive influences they have been in my development as a young man. My peers at St. Joe have also been supportive of me and have always treated me as one of their own. I am not different, just a kid, and at St. Joe I could be. Thank you. [...]
I am from Canada and I am going to Kansas to play college basketball. I will hopefully be drafted to a city that I enjoy. But I will always have a place for Huntington in my heart and memories. I will not forget all the sacrifices they made for me and my teammates. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Wiggins, a 6-foot-8 small forward with explosive athleticism, will play what will almost certainly be his lone season of college basketball at Kansas before entering the NBA draft in 2014. Perhaps this time next year, he'll pen another thank you letter, this time to the people of Lawrence.