Jul 14, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Print View
WEST DES MOINES — Lindell Wigginton was always plugged in.
Even while he was competing with Team Canada at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, the Iowa State freshman point guard kept in constant contact with his teammates in Ames.
All of the long distance communication is done. Wigginton is in Iowa and ready to get to work.
“I don’t feel like I have to catch up,” Wigginton said Thursday night while watching the YMCA Capital City League games. “I feel like I’m right there with them.”
While he has yet to play summer league in the states with his future teammates, the 6-foot-2, 184-pounder has hardly been idle. He averaged 12.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds in Canada’s run to the World Cup championship, the country’s first.
Wigginton had 11 points, three rebounds and three assists in the final against Italy, but missed time in the wins against France and the U.S. with concussion-like symptoms. There aren’t any lingering health effects regarding that situation, he said.
“It was tough (to sit and watch), but I was excited for my team to win,” Wigginton said. “Just to know they could pull it off without me, it was a great feeling and it showed that Canada basketball is really getting there.”
Recruiting services lauded Wigginton as Iowa State’s best high-school signee in a decade. He was a consensus top-50 recruit, a five-star according to Rivals and a four-star on ESPN, Scout and 247Sports.
The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, native played at prep basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, the World Team at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit and Team Canada. Expectations have been there since Wigginton put pen to paper on his letter of intent, but that has affected his view on himself or the upcoming season.
“Really I just have to stay humble and stay poised,” Wigginton said. “I don’t really have no pressure on me. I really feel like I’m going to come in and do my thing. I’m not really going to fall up in all the hype or anything like that, I’m just going to play my game every night.”
Wigginton will be a day-one starter in the backcourt alongside senior Donovan Jackson. Iowa State Coach Steve Prohm has attained a reputation for developing point guards who can play on and off the ball, making the Jackson-Wigginton lineup a pair built to score efficiently.
“We’ve only worked out probably two or three times together,” Jackson said. “He can really shoot the ball, he’s very athletic and stuff like that, so once we start getting him going into the individual workouts then I’ll be able to see what I can help him improve on within the system.”
Wigginton’s specific role within the team won’t be too different from his experience at Oak Hill. He played healthy doses of point guard and shooting guard, and expects to do plenty of both at Iowa State.
“I’ve got to score,” Wigginton said. “But also I like getting my teammates involved before me. I already know what I can do, I already know I can score the ball, I just feel like I have to get my teammates involved first.”
Even in his short time around his ISU teammates, Wigginton said he’s been able to foster relationships relatively easy. One of the strongest is with fellow freshman guard Terrence Lewis.
Wigginton and the 6-foot-5, 195-pound Lewis arrived together at Valley Southwoods on Thursday and have built on their relationship since the official visit they shared. Lewis watched every FIBA World Cup game Wigginton played in.
“Me and Lindell working together is going to be a blessing,” Lewis said. “He’s really crafty as a point guard and really aggressive, just like me. Me and him are going to work at it this year so we’re going to be good.”
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