Arguably the top point guard in the 2017 Canadian class Lindell Wigginton (Oak Hill) will take his talents to the adidas Uprising Gauntlet series this spring. Wigginton fresh off of a silver with Oak Hill at the 2015 DICKS Nationals will suit up for Stackhouse Elite UPLAY in the 16U division he told CanadianBallers.com.
Wigginton in his first year at Oak Hill became the first Canadian ever to play for the rich basketball program whose alumni include Jerry Stackhouse, Rajon Rando, Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith, Steve Blake, Ty Lawson, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.
This season was particularly special for Oak Hill, as their undefeated season of 45 wins set a school record. With a No. 1 national ranking, Steve Smith, who was named Naismith Coach of the Year, and company were finalists at the DICK'S Nationals that wrapped up this past weekend in New York City.
Wigginton who has roots in Uniacke Square and North Preston, Nova Scotia will join Stackhouse Elite UPLAY bolstering an already impressive 16U player pool that includes 2017’s 6’9” Lucus Olstroon, 6’6” Abu Kigab, 6’5” Jacobus Vanderpol, 6’5” Therren Szmidt, 6’3” Shai Alexander, 2018’s 6’9” Brandon Kenyon and 6’3” Khaleem Bennett among others.
Lindell Wigginton in Oak Hill digs. (courtesy Phenom Hoops)
Wigginton joins Stackhouse Elite spearheaded by Jerry Stackhouse and Jermaine Jackson who recently brought their brand to Canada and partnered with UPLAY Canada.
Wigginton's father Biffy Downey confirmed reasoning behind the switch Sunday,
"To me its a good move because Lindell is growing to bigger and better things. At the pace he's going and as his family we have to make sure he's in the best position possible," Downey offered.
"Jerry Stackhouse and Jermaine Jackson together I know they can do alot for him as a basketball player and as a leader on and off he court in our community," Downey said.
Downey reiterated the importance of how community oriented Lindell's career is to the youth back home in Nova Scotia,
"It's a blessing to see Lindell in a position where he can inspire other kids not to settle, it's something important to our community and province. He's on a big stage where he can help bring much needed positive exposure."
Jermaine Jackson who spent six seasons in the NBA says he will help mentor the 6’2” point guard reach his dream of some day playing in the NBA like he and Stackhouse did,
“Lindell and Jerry went to Oak Hill, Lindell and I are both point guards, also UPLAY 16U is a group of unknown talent that plays their butt off. The bond with each other is exciting for us to build moving forward.” Jackson said.
“My goal is to cultivate a special relationship with point guards in our program and know what’s going on in every facet of their lives — family, schoolwork, relationships, the music they listen to, even their diet. If the point guard isn’t in the right frame of mind, that spills over to the rest of the team,” Jackson added.
Lindell Wigginton brings a level of toughness, athleticism and high level of experience playing for Coach Smith at a great storied program like Oak Hill. UPLAY president Duane Washington expressed his excitement about adding a player with talent and tenacity that Wigginton will bring to a backcourt beside 6’3” Shai Alexander,
“Lindell is a point guard and teams play very well when they have ball handlers out there. Think about Connecticut when they had Napier and Boatwright.” Washington said. “ When you have two elite point guards out there that can score and get others involved it’s tough to play against. When you think of AAU and college its a guards game.”
Lindell Wigginton adds an elite next level athlete that is poised to develop into a great point guard and bring Stackhouse UPLAY to another level with the pieces that they already have. Speaking with CanadianBallers.com Wigginton discussed his recent move and also tackled other topics regarding his recent transition south of the border and future prospects.
CB: First ever Canadian tossing it up for legendary Oak Hill. How was your transition from Prince Andrew, NS to Oak Hill, VA?
LW: At the start of the year I was just getting a feel and my feet wet. After the first couple of weeks it started clicking. After that everything started rolling right. I feel like I’m playing great now. I expected it to be very challenging but when I got settled I just got comfortable and things have been great.
CB: Any older teammates on the Oak Hill squad that have taken you under their wing and offered you valuable advice?
LW: Dwayne [Bacon] and Khadim Sy are my guys. That’s who I be with all the time. They are like my big brothers. Guiding me and telling me all the right things to do like stay calm, focused on the court and just play my game. Come with energy and be ready to compete.
CB: How was dominating the open gym in Nova Scotia with Prince Andrew compared to running more half court sets on a national schedule with a national prep power like Oak Hill been?
LW: I feel like I am still doing it here what I was doing back home. Assistant coaches and Coach Smith have been working with me on how to come off pick and rolls, how to make the right reads, take what the defense give me. Coach Smith is a great coach he gets on you and he is gonna make you work as hard as you can. When your in the gym you can’t take plays off. I know I used to take plays off but at this level you can’t do that or you will get pulled. Coach Smith gets you in the gym everyday and just gets you better and prepared for this game at the next level.
CB: You are in good position to make a run at the starting point guard position for Oak Hill next season. What do you feel you need to tie up and take care of so Coach Smith gives you those keys?
LW: Basically just reading the game. How to read the defense and limiting turnovers. With everything coming to me now like my shot, getting to the hoop and coming off screens I feel everything is starting to fall into place now. I’m really starting to feel that next year can be my time to show out.
CB: Your big brother Roddell made the move last year from JUCO to University of Buffalo and won the conference tournament this year. Do you guys keep in touch throughout the season much?
LW: I talk to him every day. He reminds me to stay focused and how to stay ready. He won a JUCO championship two years ago and he just wants me to win championships with Oak Hill and kind of do what he did and put our city on my back.
CB: Nevell Provo is a point guard from North Preston, NS also. He too played at a prep power Huntington Prep before committing to Loyola Maryland. Do you guys keep in touch? Has he offered any advice to you over the years on how to deal with a lot of virtual hoopla and playing on the big stage?
LW: We train together, play pick up together, were from the same area so we hang out with each other. It’s great to see him commit. I congratulated him and am so happy for him. He reminds me all the time to not let anything get to my head and keep working at all times and that everything will take care of itself. Also not from the same area is Nate Darling at DeMatha, he’s doing good and I got to see him when we played in D.C. I like to keep tabs on other Scotia players.
CB: How much does representing North Preston, NS mean to you? It’s a less fortunate neighborhood and but are you relishing the chance to provide inspiration for the youth out there?
LW: Not a lot of kids make it out of there. It’s real bad over there and with me being on a big stage and having so many kids look up to me I feel like I have to be an example for them and just put on for them.
Wigginton in 2013-14 with Prince Andrew in Nova Scotia
CB: Any other people from Nova Scotia that played a role in helping you get where you are today?
LW: I also want to shout where my mother is from Uniacke Square. North Preston did a lot for me and Uniacke Square did lot for me too. I played ball in both those areas growing up and want to inspire both those communities. My uncle Colter has been around my whole life too. Training and coaching me growing up since I can remember. In my corner no matter what decision I’ve made. He’s been always around and we do stuff off the court not just on the court like hanging out. He’s like a big mentor to me and younger kids growing up in Scotia creating exposure whether it be taking them to tournaments or creating opportunities through networking.
CB: You recently made the move from Grassroots to Stackhouse UPLAY for an opportunity to play on the adidas Uprising Gauntlet Series. How excited are you?
LW: It should be fun. It’s a move that will give me more exposure. I will be playing against the top guys in my age group and I am looking forward to letting them know through strong play that I am one of the top guys too. I’m joining Stackhouse UPLAY and trying to earn my spot playing with my teammates and earn my respect from coaches and college coaches.
CB: How hard was it to make the move from Grassroots to Stackhouse UPLAY. Any fond memories from your time with Grassroots?
LW: Grassroots teammates treated me like brothers, I got to play with all the older guys and the memories will always be there. I’m always going to have a relationship with Ro Russell. He’s the man that put me on. I won’t stop talking to him or anything like that because he’s really the man that started it all for me getting to Oak Hill. It’s still love for my Roots brothers but I just had to make the best decision for me and my family. I think this is a big step in getting me ready for the next level.
CB: What are some of the things that excite you about joining Stackhouse UPLAY? Any teammates your excited to team up with?
LW: I am looking forward to playing with and getting to know all my new teammates and coaches well. I don’t know too much about UPLAY but I do hear a lot about their talent that is coming up in the Toronto area . It should be fun. Jerry Stackhouse went to Oak Hill and played 18 years in the NBA. Jermaine Jackson too, he’s basically been through everything I’m dealing with like coming from a tough neighborhood and has been an NBA point guard so he knows what it takes to get there.
CB: Last but not least what about your Bio-Steel All Canadian game selection. For the folks that haven’t seen you play what can they expect to see from Lindell Wigginton on April 14th?
LW: They are going to see scoring, energy, defense, making plays, getting my teammates involved, pretty much trying to land in Toronto, go out have fun and put on a show for them.
Wigginton will make his Stackhouse Elite UPLAY debut April 10-12 in Dallas, TX.
Tag(s): Canadian Ballers