KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ah, the memories. The montages. The loved ones in tears. You can almost picture it now, Senior Night at Allen Fieldhouse.
Or, as it’s known at Kansas, Freshman Night.
It’s official: Andrew Wiggins is leaving, and just as we were all getting to know him.
The farewell tour that most — oh, who are we kidding, everyone — expected was more or less confirmed today, when ESPN.com released an interview with the Jayhawks’ teen sensation in which he was asked what he has enjoyed most about his short time in Lawrence so far.
“I would say just being able to enjoy my last year of school,” Wiggins told ESPN The Magazine.
And that, as they say, was pretty much … that.
Although, really: Were you expecting him to say something else?
Wiggins declaring for the 2014 NBA Draft, in which he’s the presumptive No. 1 pick, was an uncontested layup, predictable as the sunrise.
We all knew it was coming. We just didn’t know exactly when.
So dawn came on Nov. 1, a week before the Kansas Jayhawks lace ’em up for their regular-season opener against Louisiana-Monroe.
And more power to ya, kid. Go get some.
But as causes for celebration go, it ain’t much. Well, not unless you’re a fan of one of the half-dozen franchises with the best shot at landing the 6-foot-8 Canadian skywalker.
If there is a silver lining in all this, at least the young man has gotten this particular elephant out of the room and out of the way early. Wiggins has shown a reticence toward the local scribes already, so there’s one less question that he’ll have to be annoyed with us about.
Now we can badger Wiggins for the next 18-20 weeks about his draft prep, his draft stock, the demands of the NBA game, and what he’s working on to get ready for the next level.
He’ll love that.
And bully for him. A few months, and thanks for the moments.
No illusions, no pretense.
In a sense, KU is just another year of prep school. When Wiggins says he wants to “enjoy my last year,” it’s hard to read that sentiment any other way. It’s the gilded path of the elite: high school … maybe a year of prep school … a year of college … green room.
They’re not here because they want to be. They’re here because they have to be.
Don’t blame Kansas for that. Don’t blame Wiggins for that, either. He didn’t write the rules. He just has to bide his time in Lawrence because of them.
Still: This is news?
Wiggins sitting down with a friendly suit and saying he’s eschewing the pros? News. Wiggins grabbing the microphone and screaming to the world that he’s committed to taking KU to back-to-back national championships in 2015?
Now that’s news. Heck, in Lawrence, that’s a parade.
You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.