Prep Athlete of Year

Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins first Canadian to win Gatorade Athlete of the Year

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Andrew Wiggins is already making headlines in Lawrence, but on Tuesday he was once again honored for his success on the hardwood in his senior season.

The Huntington Prep (W.Va.) small forward became the first Canadian to win the Gatorade High School Male Athlete of the Year. Wiggins was presented with the award on Tuesday night at the W Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. He was the first basketball player to receive the award since 2010, when then Kentucky-commit Brandon Knight was tabbed as the athlete of the year.

The 6-foot-8 Wiggins averaged 23.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.5 assists for Rob Fulford and the 30-3 Express this past season.

“It feels pretty good to know I’m the first Canadian to get this, so it’s really big for my country,” Wiggins said. “I really wanted to win it.”

The Thornhill, Ont. native has racked up the hardware in his short time at Huntington Prep. He is the two-time West Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year and in 2013 was named Naismith Boys High School Player of the Year, a McDonald’s All-American and was the consensus top high school player in the country. And now as a college freshman is projected as the top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

“I don’t really pay attention to (high) expectations from other people,” Wiggins added. “I make goals for myself, my family and God.”

Wiggins committed to Kansas over Florida State, Kentucky North Carolina back on May 14.

He shared he night with the Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year, Morgan Andrews, a soccer player from Milford High (N.H.). She is committed to play at Notre Dame.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.

NEW PODCAST: Indiana, Cal, troublesome trends and a weekend preview

California's Jabari Bird celebrates a score against Oregon in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.

Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.