Kansas University freshman basketball player Andrew Wiggins was named 2013 Gatorade High School Male Athlete of the Year on Tuesday night at an awards ceremony at the West Hollywood (Calif.) Hotel.
Wiggins, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Thornhill, Ontario, averaged 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds his senior year at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep High. The other male nominees were Trayvon Bromell (track and field), Max Browne (football), Edward Cheserek (cross country), Clint Frazier (baseball) and Cristian Roldan (soccer).
He received the silver trophy from Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George, San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers and Olympic medal-winning sprinter Bryshon Nellum.
“It feels pretty good to know I’m the first Canadian to get this, so it’s really big for my country,” Wiggins told USA Today. “I really wanted to win it. It’s just a blessing,” Wiggins added. “I kind of don’t realize at first it’s such a big deal. I think it will hit me more afterward.”
He’s expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
“I don’t really pay attention to (high) expectations from other people,” Wiggins said. “I make goals for myself, my family and God.”
Past winners include current NBA standouts LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Kevin Love.
After the ceremony, Wiggins told the Associated Press his goal has been to play in the NBA “ever since I was on earth.”
First up is his year at KU where he said his goal is a national title.
“I think I can give the fans what we want,” he said.
Morgan Andrews, a soccer forward from Milford (N.H.) High School, was named Female Athlete of the Year. Andrews will play at Notre Dame after scoring 31 goals her senior season. Other finalists: Sarah Baxter (cross country), Lauren Carlini (volleyball), Carley Hoover (softball), Mercedes Russell (basketball) and Kendell Williams (track and field).
USA Today reports that Wiggins is the sixth boys basketball player to win Athlete of the Year honors in the 11-year history of the award. A McDonald’s All-American, Wiggins also won the 2013 Naismith Boys High School Player of the Year Award.
Wiggins and Andrews tonight will be honored at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles.
McLemore scores 26: Former KU guard Ben McLemore scored 26 points off 8-of-14 shooting in the Sacramento Kings’ 81-70 loss to Toronto on Tuesday at the Las Vegas Summer League. McLemore hit eight of 14 shots, including three of six three-pointers. He was 7-of-7 from the line. He also had five turnovers against no assists with two rebounds in 31 minutes.
McLemore has been watching a lot of film since missing 19 of 23 shots in his summer league debut against Dallas.
“He’s athletic, and he’s such a great shooter, but he’s got to understand what’s a good shot and what’s a bad shot,” Kings coach Michael Malone told the Sacramento Bee. “But he’s got a gift. Shooting makes up for a multitude of sins, and he can put the ball in the hole. So we’re not going to mess with that at all.”
Of his shooting McLemore said: “I’ve just got to keep the same rotation, keep the same form. I can’t change it up and mess up my shot. I’ve just got to keep the same routine.”
More summer league: Former KU forward Thomas Robinson scored 12 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in Portland’s 80-78 loss to Chicago in Vegas. He hit four of nine shots in 29 minutes. ... Markieff and Marcus Morris scored four points apiece while playing limited minutes in the Phoenix Suns’ 100-88 victory over Memphis. ... Travis Releford scored two points off 1-of-2 shooting with two rebounds in 16 minutes in the Denver Nuggets’ 97-69 loss to Washington. ... Darnell Jackson had seven points (3-of-5 shooting and one of four free throws) and five rebounds in 15 minutes for the D-League Select team in its 82-75 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Recruiting: Myles Turner, a 6-11, 225-pound senior center from Trinity High in Euless, Texas, will visit KU for the Oct. 4 Late Night in the Phog, Turner’s dad, David, told JayhawkSlant.com. Turner is Rivals.com’s No. 6-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2014. ... Chase Jeter, a 6-9, 215-pound junior forward from Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High, who is ranked No. 33 in the Class of 2015, tells Rivals.com he is planning on making an unofficial visit to KU. He’s a teammate of Stephen Zimmerman, a 7-foot, 215-pound center, who is ranked No. 2 in the class of 2015.
Gooden cut: The Milwaukee Bucks used the league’s new amnesty clause on former KU forward Drew Gooden, the team announced Tuesday. Gooden, 31, will be paid the $13 million remaining on the five-year, $32 million deal he signed in 2010. Teams under the salary cap are now free to submit offers for Gooden. If no bids are made, he becomes a free agent.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.