FSU, fans go all out to lure Andrew Wiggins
Andrew Wiggins hasn’t said anything or tweeted about his visit to Tallahassee. But it appears that the nation’s No. 1 prep basketball star enjoyed the “sights” during his official visit to Florida State.
Well, everything but what he saw on the court at Wednesday’s basketball game.
No. 6 Florida routed Florida State 72-47 on Wednesday night, crushing its rivals in a game where the Gators led by 37 with nine minutes left.
The 6-foot-8 forward, who is said to have a LeBron James-like skill set, has said he is interested in Florida State, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and Ohio State (but Tallahassee was his first official visit). It wasn’t exactly the on-court performance that coach Leonard Hamilton was hoping for as far as enticing Wiggins. But he might have enjoyed what he saw off the court more.
While Florida State scored the fewest points ever at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, Wiggins watched from behind the Seminoles bench along with his parents. And Florida State rolled out the red-carpet treatment.
Co-eds wore white T-shirts with the words, “We want Wiggins” spelled out. Some Florida State cheerleaders had a sign that said, “FSU has hotter girls.” And, with Florida State trailing by more than 20 points, fans chanted “We want Wiggins.”
On Tuesday, Wiggins was shown around Tallahassee by a few Florida State co-eds. One of them, @NosillaDraw, tweeted on Wednesday afternoon a photo of Wiggins with three girls and said, “If my girls and I didn’t convince you to come to FSU last night I don’t know what would!” The tweet caused a stir in Tallahassee and Lexington, and on Thursday she tweeted, “Oh what a tangled web we weave. Just showed him around Tally for an hour. Then I made a notorious tweet about it. #Wiggins2FSU”
While Wiggins is considering a number of basketball powerhouses, Florida State isn’t as much a longshot as it might seem. He could land in Tallahassee, especially considering that both parents are Florida State alums. NCAA rules state that recruits can’t be mentioned or have their names placed on an arena scoreboard, but it didn’t stop Florida State co-eds from trying to attract Wiggins.
And Florida State officials tried, too. The school developed a video montage of his parents, who were honored at halftime as they sat next to their son. Marita Payne Wiggins was a sprinter who won a silver medal as part of Canada’s 4×400 relay in the 1984 Olympics, and Mitchell Wiggins was a guard who was a first-round draft pick by the Indiana Pacers in 1983 and enjoyed a 20-year pro career both in the US and overseas.
Florida State showed it still has a long way to go on the court. And that it could use a player like Wiggins. One thing is for sure – he already has a large fan club in Tallahassee.