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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 13, 2020
Lindell Wigginton could have his signature inked to an NBA contract by the end of this week.
“There are a few offers on the table right now,” the 21-year-old guard from Dartmouth said in an interview Friday evening. “I know something will be signed by this week, if not leading up to training camp. Something will happen.
“My options are open. At this point, it’s just who comes with the best offer and what the best situation is for me. I think my agent is doing the best job that he can to put me in the right position. I’m just doing what I can, working and grinding every day.”
After two seasons of college ball with Iowa State University, Wigginton declared for the 2019 NBA draft. He went undrafted but joined the Toronto Raptors for the NBA Summer League in July.
In five games with the Raptors’ summer league team, Wigginton averaged 7.4 points and 15 minutes per game and shot 78 per cent from the free throw line.
Apparently it was enough to catch the eyes of some NBA brass. Wigginton wouldn’t disclose which teams he’s considering or whether the Raptors will invite him to training camp or add him to their NBA G League roster.
“It doesn’t have to be with the Raptors,” Wigginton said. “Whatever the best situation is for me. That’s what I want to do and that’s what my agent is pushing for me to do.”
Wigginton was at Staples on Woodlawn Road on Friday as part of Staples Canada School Drive, a meet-and-greet in which the popular hoops player was handing out autographs and free backpacks.
The event was pushed back a couple hours. Wigginton flew from Minneapolis–Saint Paul to New York on Thursday but his connection to Halifax was first delayed and then cancelled Thursday night. He didn’t arrive home until Friday afternoon.
Just another chapter of what’s been a whirlwind summer for the genial Wigginton.
After averaging 13.5 points in 26 minutes per game with Iowa State during a sophomore season hampered by a left foot sprain which sidelined him for 10 games, Wigginton was among a record 13 Canadians to declare for the two-round NBA draft.
But it was a long shot for him to be selected.
“I knew there was a possibility that I wouldn’t get drafted,” Wigginton said. “But my parents drive me to keep me in the right mindset, keep my mind straight and focused and keep me grounded.
“Obviously it was disappointing not to get drafted. But the Raptors took a chance on me and signed me to their summer league. I went out there and showed what I could do, showed that I can play at that level. I have all of the confidence in the world and my support system has a lot of confidence in me. It feels like the whole province does too.”
Wigginton saved the best for last in his five-game summer stint with the NBA champion Raptors.
He scored 26 points in a 108-102 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in Las Vegas on July 12. He was the game’s top scorer on 8-for-12 shooting from the field. He also added two rebounds, three steals, three assists and a block in 31 minutes of court time.
“I was going up against my former (Iowa State) teammate Marial Shayok,” Wigginton recalled. “I wanted to leave a lasting impression and I think I did that. It was a great experience. Not many get that opportunity.
“That was a great experience in one city in Las Vegas,” he added. “Just bonding with people and getting to know everybody, the head coaches, the GMs, all the personnel staff and, of course, my teammates. It was amazing. Everything you could ask for.”
His popularity in his hometown was evident on a sunny and warm Friday. An estimated 300 people stood in line in front of the office supplies store. Some arrived 90 minutes before the event began.
They came for an autograph, a photo with Wigginton and a backpack full of school supplies.
“This was amazing,” Wigginton said following the two-hour meet-and-greet. “I literally came straight from the airport to here. It was a great turnout with a lot of kids showing up. It’s so amazing to see all of the support that I get back home.
“Just to see all of these guys who look up to me and all of the support from everyone. It’s a blessing really. Not many people get the opportunity that I get. I have to take full advantage of it. It’s not all about basketball, it’s not all about the money. It’s about showing the kids a great role model that’s here in this city, in this province.
“I want to come back and give everything that I can to the youth of this city. I know when I was growing up I didn’t have these opportunities to look up to anybody in my position. Anything I can do to give back to the community, I’m going to do.”