“Confident, aggressive player and he’s got really underrated footwork,” said Thunder Summer League head coach Grant Gibbs following the team’s first game of Summer League. “He’s very on balanced and under control when he drives it.”
“With the height and the length that I have you’re able to finish over taller defenders, you’re able to make plays,” said Wiggins. “I think just naturally you might have certain advantages over smaller guards or things like that. And then with my athletic ability I’m able to get to the rim use my athleticism to change directions and just make things happen.”
That wasn’t the first time Wiggins ever performed a pirouette. Wiggins has more than just his natural athleticism to thank for the footwork and balance he put on display in Las Vegas – he can also thank dance classes.
His mother, Serena Wiggins, encouraged all of her children to be involved in multiple extra-curricular activities. For Aaron, this meant he was taking ballet, jazz, hip-hop and tap dance classes until the seventh grade. In addition, he was also in church playing piano and playing the trombone in his middle school band. He also acted in his high school’s productions of High School Musical and Wizard of Oz.
“I like to think that, taking dance and doing all that kind of helped with balance, body control and things like that,” said Wiggins. “Looking back at it I’m grateful that I did all those things and kind of got to test it all out so it’s just fun to look back at.”
Wiggins has also learned to use his height, length and agility to his advantage on the defensive end. His length causes disruption in passing lanes and on shot attempts, but according to Coach Gibbs, Wiggins also demonstrated an ability to learn the technical defensive concepts quickly during Summer League training camp.
“I’ve been really impressed with him defensively,” said Gibbs. “Obviously, he has the ability to move but he’s really quickly picked up on our help rotations and our schemes like someone who has been here longer than he has.”
“I mean with my length being able to get steals, play the passing lanes, alter shots and just have a huge effect on the defensive end, that’s something that I take pride in,” said Wiggins.
The culmination of Wiggins’ natural abilities, hard work and winding path to the league culminated to more than just an outcry of emotion on draft night. The dance classes, the high school transfer, the time at Maryland all led to a precious opportunity with the Thunder where he now has a chance to showcase how all of those factors played a role in the player he is today. What Wiggins is looking forward to most though, is just to compete.
“To compete with such great group of players, guys who we’re all at the highest level we all have worked hard and earned our position to be in,” said Wiggins. “Just being able to compete, get to know the guys and spend time with each and every person. I’m really excited for that.”
“I was just comfortable. I was able to get in and play my part”
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) August 11, 2021