Back in May, Sports Illustrated caused quite a stir by putting 2013 star Jabari Parker on its cover and declaring him “the best high school basketball player since LeBron James.” As CBS writer Jeff Borzello and a group of respected analysts pointed out a couple of days later, he’s not. Guys like Greg Oden, Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard have been more highly touted.
But another name popped up before Parker’s on that CBS list: Andrew Wiggins. The Canadian superstar who’s playing right up the road in Huntington, W.Va, is the unanimous No. 1 player in the class of 2014. He’s also a UK target and, unlike Parker, the Cats look to be in great shape with his recruitment.
On Wednesday, Rivals.com joined a growing number of recruiting services that have drifted toward Wiggins as the No. 1 prospect in high school basketball. Rivals analyst Eric Bossi said “there’s no point in holding off any longer” in calling Wiggins the best in the land.
Bossi’s proclamation came on the heels of Wiggins’ impressive performance at the LeBron James Skills Academy. After the event wrapped up earlier this week, Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels reiterated his claim that Wiggins “is the best player in high school basketball.”
Some other observations from the LeBron camp:
NBC Sports’ Kellon Hassenstab: “There is simply no player in high school hoops who has the future potential that Wiggins does.”
NBE Basketball Report’s Raphielle Johnson: “There looks to be clear separation between (Wiggins) and the other elite players.”
The Daily’s Dan Wolken: “Some of these NBA scouts are going to need cold showers after watching Andrew Wiggins.”
The scouts weren’t the only ones in attendance who needed a comedown after the 17-year-old’s performance. The King himself was brought out of his seat following a Wiggins dunk attempt Sunday (see video below). On Monday, Wiggins got the better of Julius Randle, who could challenge Parker for the No. 1 spot in 2013.
Parker wasn’t there to defend himself. Instead, he was in Lithuania as part of the Team USA squad that won the FIBA U-17 title. But he missed time throughout the tournament while nursing a nagging ankle injury that has threatened to put him out of action for the remainder of the July evaluation period.
With Parker at less than 100 percent, Wiggins likely will continue to garner even more support as high school basketball’s top player. He might not be the best since LeBron, but he’s clearly solidifying his spot as the best right now.