The Wiggins Brothers: Andrew, Nick, Mitchell Jr. each making most of their…

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The Wiggins Brothers: Andrew, Mitchell Jr. each making of their own hoop dreams

Kan. — An annual membership at the Dufferin Clark Center runs $15 these which means even now it cost Mitchell Wiggins $45 a year to keep his boys

Sure, his three kids — Jr. the oldest, Nick the middle Andrew the youngest of the bunch — had interests growing up. But it was the basketball that lured them in a magnet, from an early age trying to follow in their footsteps.

They all three had a to follow what I did, Wiggins, who played for several in the NBA before finishing his career They grew up in the gym, and mom and dad are so a lot of things came naturally for

But they pushed each too.

The three precocious boys, bound by brotherhood and already have pushed other a long way from simpler days at the rec centre down the street.

By now, everybody is familiar Andrew, the consensus No. 1 overall from Vaughan, Ont. past season and now a likely pick in June’s NBA draft — he leaves No. 16 Kansas after his season.

He already has drawn to Tracy McGrady, who once for the Toronto Raptors, not far from the Wiggins boys grew up in the of Vaughan.

His shooting star is so though, that it’s left his two older brothers in the both of them harbouring dreams of their own.

is a key player for No. 10 Wichita State, is off to a perfect start after a dramatic Final Four run a ago. The fact that just down the road Lawrence, Kan. was one of the factors led Andrew to commit to the Jayhawks.

The of the kids, Mitchell Jr. is the best at Southeastern University in Lakeland, a small school that NAIA hoops. He’s the first part of the season a shoulder injury and is only now ready to step on the court

To hear it from his brothers, he may be the athletic of them all.

In a of interviews with The Associated the Wiggins boys pulled the curtain on their Canadian what has driven them to and what their ambitions are for the All of them talked about the bond they share, one helped them to deal the pressures of being the first of the Canadian hardwood.

We don’t talk about basketball, Andrew, reclining in a room down the corridor from the court at Allen Fieldhouse, a few before joining his brothers and sisters — Taya, Angelica and — back home for a brief break.

We talk about sometimes, Andrew explained, but we talk about our lives, me and here in Kansas, Mitchell’s in We talk about life, if you go how’s the social life. all good at talking, making other feel comfortable.

said the closeness they was instilled in them by their

Mitchell Sr. first met Marita when they were at State. He’d go on to play for the Bulls and Houston Rockets, appearing in the NBA Finals, during a that was briefly derailed by a … test. She would go on to win two titles in track and then two silver medals as part of teams at the 1984 Summer

In fact, the park just the street from the Clark Center, a short walk where the Wiggins kids up, is named Marita Payne in her honour.

Despite their own the parents never pushed on their kids. They faith, family and friendship, at until their children athletic interests on their

By that point, it was hard to the kids away from the

They never stressed Andrew said. If we didn’t to play basketball, we wouldn’t played basketball. They us to be kids, have fun.

we were younger, we didn’t basketball seriously like We just wanted to hang ride our bikes to the park, do stuff. And then when we serious, obviously they us.

And yes, there were spirited games of one-on-one up.

We fought a lot, a whole Nick said, laughing. But all love, tough love.

and Andrew are the most alike in of personality. Both inherited the reserved nature of their That’s part of the reason why eschewed a glitzy, made-for-TV when he committed to Kansas for a news conference.

Only a of reporters were even in the room that day.

He tell nobody, not even me, said, standing in the hallway the Shockers’ locker room at Arena. He’s really back, you know?

As for Nick, that’s another story.

was always the more social Andrew said, always the outgoing one. He had that of personality where if he walked the room, everyone knew who he He kind of took after my a personality like that.

The three brothers insist it’s easy to keep in even as their lives picked up speed. They off text messages after or message each other via media, and rarely does a day go by one doesn’t hear from

Mom and dad may have the toughest job trying to track of everyone.

There’s so interest in Andrew’s budding that every game plays this season is aired on TSN, a Canadian TV network. It’s the first that’s happened, and so far he hasn’t He’s averaging 15.5 and 5.5 rebounds for a team loaded NBA talent that has started 8-3 a brutal non-conference schedule.

State also has become a on the ESPN family of channels, mostly to its Final Four run and national ranking. Nick is a career-best 5.1 points while the Shockers (12-0) to one of the best in school history.

Mitchell Jr. 15 points for the Fire last He’s nearly recovered his injury and will be joining a team that’s 10-2 and has title aspirations.

Their parents have several trips for the new year, to catch as many games as can in person. It’s quite a act, to be sure, but one they accept.

The boys, they in each other. They in their ability. We just try to and encourage whenever they get Mitchell Sr. said. Everybody in the country knows our story.

It so many other kids here, where they’re the area, and also the country, they could get it done.

Recreation Basketball Mitchell NBA

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