Columnists, Sports

Fish and Chipps: A letter to Mr. Wiggins

Dear Mr. Wiggins,

A wise man once said to me, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Let me begin by saying I am a huge admirer of your work on the court. You can flat out ball and I have sincerely enjoyed watching you play in the collegiate ranks this season.

It is undeniable that magical things happen when you have a basketball in your hands.

You are freak of nature, and a specimen that few basketball players of your generation can compare themselves with.

But I write to you for a greater purpose than flattering you, Mr. Wiggins.

Two years ago when I first heard of your name, I didn’t believe what critics were said about you. The nicknames like “Canada’s Michael Jordan” and “The next LeBron” made me skeptical of your basketball talent. Those are names a basketball lover like myself holds in the highest regards, so when people throw those names out in comparison, I take quick notice.

When I watched your high school mixtape video, I was in utter shock like the millions of other YouTube viewers. You can razzle-and-dazzle, shake-and-bake and fly sky-high.

But with that being said, you are not perfect, and far from it.

I write to you because I believe that you have the power to change the landscape of basketball. I believe you can become a trendsetter for future stars that must grasp with the reality of the “one-and-done” rule.

Although I harshly disagree with David Stern’s one-and-done rule, which was implemented in 2005 and requires players entering the draft to be 19 years old or one year removed from graduating high school, I believe you can set a precedent by not entering into the 2014 NBA Draft.

Say what?!

Yes, Mr. Wiggins, I am saying that you should not enter the 2014 NBA Draft and come back to the University of Kansas for your sophomore season.

Before the beginning of the 2013-14 college basketball season, you made it known that your freshman season in Lawrence, Kan., would be the only year college basketball fans would have the pleasure of watching you play inside the historic Allen Fieldhouse.

But four months into your college basketball career, circumstances have changed. Through the first 25 game of your college career, you are averaging 16.1 points game, 5.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.

The numbers speak for themselves, and on paper there is no denying the fact that you have been one of the best players in college basketball this season.

However, when taking a deeper look into your freshman campaign, I find flaws that can be exposed at the next level, and areas of your game that must be improved.

When watching game tape, it is easy to see that your ball-handling skills and jump shot must improve tremendously, as well as your intensity on the court. Often times, there are stretches throughout games where you are nowhere to be found on the court and lack the focus of an elite player.

But trying to convince you to stay in college for another season is not just about improving your game on the court. It’s about sending a message to the NBA and future superstars looking at your predicament with a blank face.

I understand how hard it must be to look at the NBA and see how close you have come to accomplishing your dream of playing professionally, but college basketball, especially at a mecca like Kansas, has so much to offer you: dedicated fans, NCAA Championships and the ability to gain even greater basketball knowledge. Does that mean anything to you? I hope so.

The NBA will be there for you when the time comes, but another season at Kansas would not only make you a better basketball player, it would prove to the NBA that heralded recruits are willing to sacrifice the money to blossom appropriately as basketball players through the college game.

Remember Mr. Wiggins, Michael Jordan played college basketball for three seasons before making the jump to the NBA, and last time I checked things worked out pretty well for him.

Ultimately, the decision is yours and yours alone. I just hope you make the right one. Don’t forget that your decision could forever change the landscape of college basketball, for better of for worse.

The ball is in your court Mr. Wiggins. What are you going to do?


Yours Truly,


Isaac Chipps

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