Canada's Wiggins is top pick of NBA Draft by Cavs

Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:58pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Canada's Andrew Wiggins from the University of Kansas was taken with the number one pick of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday launching a great night for Canada and international players.

Four of the first eight players selected into the world's leading professional basketball league came from outside the United States.

The 19-year-old Wiggins, an athletic, 6-foot-8 (2.03m) guard with great leaping ability who averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds last season as a freshman, joins a Cavs team that was 33-49 last season in the National Basketball Association.

"Just going in and creating impact off the bat," Wiggins, nicknamed "Maple Jordan" for his explosiveness, said about coming to the NBA.

"Just playing my game and have confidence in myself because I have to believe in myself before anyone else can."

The choice of Wiggins made it back-to-back number ones from Canada, after Cleveland chose forward Anthony Bennett first overall in 2013. Bennett struggled in his rookie season as he averaged 4.2 points and three rebounds per game.

Jabari Parker of Duke University was the second pick made by the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 19-year-old Parker, a polished offensively-minded forward who averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds as a freshman last season, was happy to join Milwaukee, which is about a 90-minute drive from his hometown of Chicago.   Continued...

Andrew Wiggins (Kansas) gets a hug after being selected as the number one overall pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports