by Kent Sterling
The number one incoming freshman in the country is going to announce his decision today, and there are four finalists from which he’s going to choose – North Carolina, Florida State, Kansas, and Kentucky.
I would love for the very best players in the country to make their decisions based upon something more than ease of academics, and reputation as a factory for producing pros.
Andrew Wiggins will be a lottery pick if he goes to North Dakota State, so why not choose the school that offers an academic challenge, fun local rivalries, and great school history.
I hate to see kids make a bad choice, so I want to offer Andrew my two cents.
You’re a hell of a basketball player, and I wish you the best wherever you go to college for eight months before jumping to the NBA – even Kentucky, should you choose to play there. But don’t go to Lexington.
Kentucky is a wretched place with a past filled with deceit, cheating, and unabashed racism. It represents the out-of-whack set of priorities that are making a mockery of the student-athlete experience. Filled with knuckleheads who care more about Wildcat basketball than their families, Kentucky is a not the kind of place any kid should choose when so many other great options exist. They pay coach John Calipari over $5.2 million per year to be a camp counselor for NBA bound prima donnas, and that amount of cash warps a man’s perspective.
You appear to be a reasonable kid with a good head on your shoulders. Kentucky is a holding cell for those who have no goal in college beyond preparing to play in the NBA.
Why choose to be a part of those programs when you can go to North Carolina – a great university in the second best basketball conference in America? Chapel Hill is a wonderful and beautiful town, and Roy Williams is a great mentor for college students. Speaking of college students, you will be one at UNC. You will go to classes, and actually learn things. If you are going to go to college, why not learn?
And while Kentucky pulled the plug from their rivalry with Indiana, UNC will play their next door neighbors at Duke at least twice a year. There is no atmosphere more fun for a player.
Franklin Street is an eclectic place, and the weather in Chapel Hill is just a little warmer that in Lexington or Lawrence.
Wherever you go, you will be able to jump to the NBA whenever you like, so why not go to the place where you can have the best experience while you wait. Be a college student. Learn something about yourself. Enjoy basketball. Play for a great coach.
You have narrowed your list to four programs representing three quality universities. It will be hard to make a mistake given your choices. You have a 75% chance of getting it right, if you include Florida State, and why wouldn’t we?
In delaying your choice, you have shown a desire to take the road less traveled. Don’t stop now. By choosing UNC, you will show that playing college basketball should have something to do with education, even if you will go pro long before earning a degree.
Wherever you go, good luck. I’ll enjoy watching you play.