adidas Eurocamp: Getting to know Lindell Wigginton
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Ronnie has evaluated basketball talent for 20 years and has over 15 years of experience in publishing, editing and managing high school sports websites for companies such as Student Sports, ESPN and Ballislife. Ronnie compiles the FAB 50 National Team Rankings while serving as an account manager and consultant for grassroots event run by Ballislife and other companies, in addition to serving as a color commentator on high school broadcasts.
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Combo guard Lindell Wigginton of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) was one of 11 players chosen for the U.S. Select Team that participated at 2016 adidas Eurocamp. Wigginton is a highly-motivated player who left Canada with a goal of making a successful career in order to help out his family. BIL sat down with Wigginton to talk about his upbringing, his game and his future.
BIL: Who taught you how to play the game?
Wigginton: “My dad (Biffy) and my four older brothers. One of my older brothers, Rodell, played at the University at Buffalo.”
BIL: What is your inspiration for playing the game?
Wigginton: “My family; I’m trying to get them in a better place. I was raised in Nova Scotia, Canada. My parents work hard for us, I want to provide for them.”
BIL: What is Nova Scotia like?
Wigginton: That part of Canada is really similar to the United States. We don’t speak French. My parents and the older people say the generation coming up is reckless, it ain’t like it used to be. People are trying to stop it, but it’s becoming more violent. My parents want to get out of there. We love Canada, but see the future of where it’s going.”
BIL: Is adidas Eurocamp your first trip to Europe? What part of the world have you been to with Oak Hill Academy?
Wigginton: “Yes, this is my first trip to Europe. With Oak Hill, playing in Hawaii was a cool experience. Seeing the different styles of play, the people and the different languages was cool. I also liked the beaches.”
BIL: What was the deciding factor for you in choosing to go to Oak Hill?
Wigginton: “I played one year of high school ball in Nova Scotia and then went to Oak Hill. The main reason is I wanted to stay focus because back home there are a lot of distractions. I wanted to get away from the negativity. I wanted to focus on getting better and the process of being the best player I could be.”
BIL: What did you learn from Harry Giles’ injury last year? How did you step up? (Oak Hill opened the season No. 1 in the FAB 50 and Giles was injured in the first minutes of the first game; Oak Hill ended the season with one loss and No. 2 in the FAB 50.)
Wigginton: “Losing the No. 1 player in the country, coach (Steve Smith) wanted me to step up more and started me after that. My success last season never surprised me; I always knew I had it in me, it was coach putting me on that stage to do what I have to do. He believed in me and I believed in him and we got rolling after that. Leading up to the loss to 22-foot Academy, we had not played much together with the group without Harry. We felt we were untouchable, but that loss made us come together.”
BIL: What are you working on to ensure another successful season and another Dick’s Nationals title?
Wigginton: “Just staying consistent and confident while working on my all-around game. I think I need to get my handle tighter. I wasn’t shooting that well here in Italy, but I can shoot. So being consistent while making smarter decisions will help my game.”
BIL: What have you learned about basketball outside the U.S. on this trip?
Wigginton: “The game is more physical and there are bigger and stronger players. You also can’t take any plays off. The players’ fundamentals were great and I got to work on those things. They weren’t necessarily more talented, but being fundamentally sound makes them look good.”
BIL: What are you going to take home with you from this trip?
Wigginton: “Playing against those guys; because they play against pros. Getting a pro feeling for the game and the way pros play, that was huge.”
BIL: What has been most fun about adidas Eurocamp?
Wigginton: “The sight-seeing has been fun, just hanging with the guys.”