CHICAGO - Andrew Wiggins bent his long frame over his handiwork, focusing quietly on his task — painting an Easter sugar cookie.
The 18-year-old Canadian basketball phenom spent part of Easter Sunday decorating cookies, hunting for eggs, and playing video games with children at Ronald McDonald House, part of the festivities leading up to Wednesday's 36th McDonald's All-American Game.
Wiggins clearly relished the chance to just relax with his peers.
"I know a lot of people look at (the All-American game) like it's a competition, I'm just looking to have fun," Wiggins said. "It's like an all-star game to me. I'm looking forward to all the interaction with all the players, my teammates, the coaches."
The small forward from Vaughan, Ont., a Grade 12 student at Huntington Prep in West Virginia, headlines Wednesday's game which brings together the top male and female high schoolers in the U.S.
"It's a big weekend, not a lot of Canadians get a chance to play in the McDonald's game so I look forward to it," he said. "I'm also very fortunate to be able to go to Ronald McDonald House and see all the unfortunate kids ... it opens our eyes, we see how we're blessed."
Proceeds from the game, which in past years featured such young stars as LeBron James and Kevin Durant, go to Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Wiggins recently claimed the Naismith Trophy as the year's top U.S. high school player, and he's expected to go No. 1 in the 2014 NBA draft.
His college of choice has been the subject of much speculation as he decides on either Kentucky or Florida State for next season.
But he's putting that on the back-burner this week.
"It's more like a relaxing week, we got a couple days off school, so that's good," Wiggins said. "I'm just starting to relax, hang with the players, the coaches, meet new people."
The high-flying teen will compete in the dunk contest as part of Tuesday night's Jam Fest at the University of Chicago, which also includes skills and three-point shooting contests.
"Haven't thought about it yet," he said on what dunk he'll throw down. "I'll think about it tonight or maybe after practice."
Wiggins was attending a dinner Saturday evening when his older brother Nick and his Wichita State Shockers upset Ohio State to make the NCAA's Final Four.
"I kept asking my friends for the score," he said, laughing.
Ohio State made a run in the last couple of minutes before the Shockers pulled out a 70-66 victory.
"Worried me a little bit, but I knew they'd pull it out," Wiggins said.
He's proud of what his 22-year-old brother has accomplished.
"For him, Final Four, that's a big stage, a lot of players don't get the opportunity go to the Sweet Sixteen tournament or even get into the tournament, so I think he's very blessed," Wiggins said. "That just motivates me and makes me want to play at college too and get into the tournament, and play in front of the fans, entertain the fans."
- Sports & Recreation
- Ronald McDonald House