Former Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins is joining in the recent success that stems from Jayhawk basketball, but this time, it’s in the NBA Finals.
Wiggins became the 14th Jayhawk, the fifth to play under head coach Bill Self, to win an NBA title on Thursday night after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 6, 103-90.
Thursday’s win secured the fourth NBA title in eight seasons for Golden State.
Though the Finals MVP unanimously went to Stephen Curry, Wiggins’s Finals performance was still one for the books. In the six-game series, Wiggins averaged 18.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game and dominated on the defensive end.
Wiggins proved to be the lead force in the Warriors’ Game 5 win, posting 26 points and 13 rebounds.
“He's shining on the brightest of stages in the playoffs,'' Curry said following Game 5. “It's just amazing to see things working out in his favor in terms of kind of dispelling all the narratives around him and who he is as a basketball player right in front of your eyes.''
In his short time as a Jayhawk, Wiggins was the 2014 Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year and a member of both the Consensus All-America Second Team and All-Big 12 First Team. Wiggins set the single-season scoring record at 597 points while averaging 17.1 points per game.
After one year at Kansas, Wiggins then went on to be drafted No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. After a preseason trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves that same year, Wiggins earned the NBA Rookie of the Year title for the 2014-15 season, and stayed in Minnesota until being traded to Golden State in 2020.
Averaging 17.2 points per game, Wiggins received his first career NBA All-Star nod, but now, the 2021-22 season ends for the former Jayhawk on the highest note of all– with an NBA title.
“I wanted to win,” said Wiggins postgame when asked why he was a perfect fit for the Warriors. “That’s what they do here at Golden State, they win. They brought me along and now we’re winning a ring together, I’m just happy to be here.”