Jai Malik Wiggins Jr is an American high school basketball player who has been making waves in the sport over the past few years. At just 17 years old, Wiggins is considered one of the top prospects in the 2023 recruiting class and has drawn comparisons to NBA stars like Ja Morant and Russell Westbrook for his athleticism and playmaking ability.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Wiggins’ background, his skills on the court, and why so many believe he has a very bright future ahead of him in basketball.
Background and Early Life
Jai Malik Wiggins Jr was born on February 16, 2006 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He grew up with a strong family support system and was immersed in basketball from an early age by his father, Malik, who played basketball at Elizabeth City State University.
By the time he was in middle school, Wiggins’ talent was already apparent. He starred for his school team and began playing on the AAU circuit, facing off against top competition from around the country. His impressive performances earned him invites to elite summer camps and national tournaments, where he continued to turn heads.
High School Career
As a freshman at Moravian Prep in Hudson, NC in 2019-20, Wiggins averaged 19 points, five assists, and four rebounds per game. His strong debut season garnered attention from major high school basketball programs.
For his sophomore season, Wiggins transferred to Word of God Christian Academy, a powerful program in Raleigh, NC. There, he teamed up with another top prospect in his class, Mikey Williams, to form one of the most exciting backcourts in high school basketball.
Over the next two seasons at Word of God, Wiggins emerged as one of the premiere guards in the 2023 class. He averaged 20 points, five rebounds and four assists per game, leading his team to consecutive state championships.
Wiggins earned numerous accolades for his electrifying play, including being named a 2022 McDonald’s All-American. He participated in the McDonald’s All-American game in March 2022, scoring 11 points.
Strengths and Player Profile
At 6’3″ and 175 pounds, Wiggins possesses good size for a point guard and has all the athletic gifts necessary to thrive at the highest levels of the sport. He’s incredibly quick and explosive off the dribble, allowing him to get to the rim and finish through contact. His leaping ability also makes him a threat to throw down monstrous dunks in transition or traffic.
Wiggins is also an advanced playmaker and passer for his age. He has excellent court vision and can make any pass, whether it’s a crisp skip pass cross court or a well-timed pocket pass on a drive. His ability to break down defenses and set up teammates is special.
On top of his natural physical talents, Wiggins brings passion, energy and intensity whenever he takes the floor. He competes at a very high level on both ends of the court. Defense is an underrated aspect of his game – he has the lateral quickness and competitiveness to develop into a lockdown perimeter defender.
Off the court, coaches and teammates rave about Wiggins’ character, work ethic and leadership. He sets an example with his drive to keep improving. Despite all the early success and attention, he has remained humble and hungry.
Recruiting and Future Outlook
With his combination of skills, athleticism and intangibles, Jai Malik Wiggins Jr has emerged as one of the most coveted recruits in the 2023 class. All of the top college basketball programs in the country are vying for his commitment.
Wiggins has official visits scheduled for the fall of 2022 with blueblood programs like Kansas, North Carolina and UCLA. Many recruiting experts predict he will ultimately commit to either Kansas or UNC.
At whichever prestigious program he lands, Wiggins is expected to make an instant impact. His game should seamlessly translate to the college level, where he has the ability to develop into a First Team All-Conference performer and potential All-American.