Earlier today, we reported on Bill Self’s speculation about the summer plans of Andrew Wiggins. The season’s biggest recruit is from Canada, and has the opportunity to represent his home country on the FIBA U19 team. Self believed that Wiggins would give at least part of his summer over to Team Canada.
Turns out Self was wrong.
According to the Basketball Canada website, Wiggins has chosen to focus on getting ready for his freshman year of DI basketball, and will forego his berth on the Junior Men’s National Team.
Wiggins’ decision may be a disappointment to Canadians in the short term, but the long-term outlook for Team Canada may actually become more attractive if Wiggins spends extra time in the Bill Self talent development pipeline. Wiggins and several other talented Canadian stars will make for a super-tough squad in the upcoming Olympic games.
Rowan Barrett, executive vice-president and assistant general manager of Canada Basketball’s Senior Men’s program, commented that, “at 18 years old, Andrew has a long basketball career ahead of him. Andrew’s decision to prepare himself this summer for the upcoming season is a decision we acknowledge. Our team will miss Andrew this summer, but we remain focused on Andrew’s long-term development and our organizational goals for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and beyond”.
Wiggins could still play for the senior team later this summer. As our own Scott Phillips pointed out earlier, Canadian citizens with NBA skills like Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson are becoming more and more common, which could lead to a truly dangerous Canadian hoops squad in 2016.
Eric Angevine is editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.