The 2013 American Family Insurance ALL-USA high school boys basketball team was chosen by USA TODAY Sports’ Jim Halley in consultation with Jason Jordan of USA TODAY High School Sports, various high school coaches and recruiting analysts. All selections are seniors unless noted.
AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE ALL-USA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Andrew Wiggins | G-F | Huntington (W.Va.) Prep | 6-8, 205 | Undecided
The facts: Averaged 23.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.5 assists this season, leading team to 30-3 record and a No. 7 ranking in the USA TODAY Sports Super 25. Son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins and Marita Payne-Wiggins, a two-time Olympic track silver medalist for Canada. Grew up in Toronto but played at Huntington Prep the past two seasons.
My game in song: I like that song that Cityphil made for me (Andrew Wiggins). He was rapping about me and talking about my team.
Favorite teachers: Mr. (Sean) White for art. I can be myself around him. We make jokes. In Canada, it was Mr. (Constantine) Gymnopoulos. He was my basketball coach, but he also taught phys ed.
Most embarrassing: I scored on my own basket when I was in a game in fifth grade.
Most used phone app: Instagram on Twitter.
People don’t know that I: Play a lot of video games, mostly Call of Duty.
Underrated virtue: A passion for others.
Good read: Trapped Between the Lash and the Gun (by Arvella Whitmore). About a boy who finds a watch that takes him back in time and he lives the life of an African who is a slave in America and it shows him how fortunate he is. He gets back into regular time and he didn’t want to join a gang, so they beat him up or shoot him, I can’t remember. It was a while ago when I read it, but he survives. It was an excellent book.
What I miss most about Canada: Not being with my family and friends and that environment.
PHOTOS: ALL-USA first team selections
MEET THE REST OF THE FIRST TEAM
Julius Randle | F | Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) | 6-9, 245 | Kentucky*
The facts: Averaged 25.1 points, 12.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Missed most of the season with a broken foot but returned to help team get its second consecutive Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Class 5A title.
Underrated virtue: Giving respect, saying yes sir and no sir. That’s pretty big. You would be surprised how that impresses people.
Best part of my game: Versatility. Somebody could not stick on one thing that I do.
First coach: My mom (Carolyn Kyles, who played at Texas-Arlington) put the ball in my hands.
Back from injury: I didn’t think I would be able to come back at all to finish the season. After my doctor cleared me, just getting back in shape was the toughest part.
Being Twitter friends with Johnny Manziel: He goes through the same thing I go through. It’s kind of cool to talk to another athlete.
Favorite meal: Baked tilapia with corn and brown rice.
Best basketball advice: To use basketball and not let basketball use me. Jeff Webster (his godfather and a former NBA player) told me that.
Top opponent: LeBron James for sure. He’s a different player.
People don’t know that I: Am laid-back off the court.
Aaron Harrison | G | Travis (Richmond, Texas) | 6-5, 215 | Kentucky
The facts: Averaged 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 blocks to help Travis repeat as 5A state champion. His twin brother Andrew, a second-team ALL-USA pick, is also headed to Kentucky.
Favorite teacher: Ms. (Marisa) Knight for English. She really cares to help me understand things. She helps every student understand the subject and not just make sure they’re brainwashed.
Game strength: Definitely scoring.
Working on: The mental aspect, keeping my teammates in the moment and just making sure I stay in the moment.
Playing alongside a twin: On every alley-oop he throws me, I’m ready for it because I know the moves he makes. About the only difference between us is our tastes in music. I’m more a guy who looks at music. He just listens to it.
Repeating at state: We stayed together as a team no matter what people on the outside were saying. We knew we had the talent to win state.
Underrated virtue: Integrity. A lot of coaches (promise) you one thing and tell somebody else the same thing.
People don’t know that: I’m scared of dogs. Just pretty much any dog.
Recent read: Frankenstein (by Mary Shelley). I liked it because it got my attention. It had a little bit of action.
Most overplayed by me: Rick Ross.
Most embarrassing: When I was 10 years old in a game, I heaved the ball from the volleyball line, which was a long way away. I turned around like I made it, but that far away, I couldn’t tell. It just touched the front of the net and didn’t go in.
Basketball start: When I was little, my brother and I went to the gym with my dad. He would play in a grownup league in the town next to ours. Eventually we got to play. My dad taught me a lot of things. The last time we played one-on-one, I was 11 or 12. He beat me and we haven’t played since.
Jahlil Okafor | C | Whitney Young (Chicago) | 6-10, 270 | Undecided (is a junior)
The facts: Averaged 20.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks a game to lead Whitney Young to a city title. He is a distant cousin of NBA player Emeka Okafor. He’s the only junior on the first team. First name is pronounced jah-LEEL.
Overrated: The phrase “no days off” is overrated. Playing every day is overrated. Sometimes your body needs rest.
No rivalry with Jabari Parker: We’re the best of friends because we’ve been playing together for the past three years with the Mac Irvin Fire (AAU) and the USA Basketball team. We’re really close. The rivalry is really between my high school and his high school.
Underrated virtue: Being polite to everybody around you is definitely underrated.
Most people don’t know I: Have a huge love for dogs, especially golden retrievers and German shepherds. But now that I’m traveling all the time, I can’t have a dog.
Game strength: My post-up game and using my size and footwork to be effective.
Working on: Being more dominant on the defensive end. That was one of my focuses this year.
Vs. dad in hoops: (Chukwudi Okafor is an assistant coach at Whitney Young.) In the eighth grade, I played him two times in a row and I beat him by a huge margin. We have not played since.
Favorite meal: Chinese food.
Basketball advice: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar came to my school, and I got to talk with him in his car for about 45 minutes. He stressed that I should use the game of basketball, not let it use me.
Favorite teacher: Ms. (JaNean) Gayles. My British literature teacher. My favorite teacher always happens to be my literature teacher. I just love being a part of that class.
Recent read: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I liked it, but when I was reading it, it was kind of hard.
Top opponent: I played LeBron James in his camp. I don’t think that counts. At Whitney Young, I always had to guard Tommy Hamilton and he was tough. He’s a senior now at IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.).
Jabari Parker | F | Simeon (Chicago) | 6-8, 240 | Duke*
The facts: Averaged 18.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists this season while leading team to its fourth consecutive 4A state title. Son of former NBA player Sonny Parker. Captain of USA Basketball’s 2012 under-17 squad that won the FIBA World Championship.
Most people don’t know I: Love music. I listen to all types of music. I take it really serious. It’s a form of poetry.
Game strength: I am able to take advantage of a mismatch. I’m a real good shooter in the mid-range.
Working on: Being more consistent.
Underrated virtue: Hard work is really underrated.
My game in song: Who Gon Stop Me? by Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Vs. dad in hoops: I never beat him in a game of basketball, but the last time we played was in the second grade.
Favorite meal: I just like pasta. I like having chicken Parmesan or some type of grilled chicken a couple of hours before a game.
Winning state: Winning this year, I felt excitement and relief that I had accomplished my goal to win four state championships. It’s been a long time since somebody did that in Chicago.
Basketball advice: The best thing someone taught me is to be an overall player, to worry about fundamentals.
Tough opponent: That’s hard. I usually have easy assignments on defense. In pick-up ball, the toughest player I’ve had to guard is Dwyane Wade because of his quickness and the way he reads defenses so well.
Favorite teachers: Ms. (Dianne) Harmon for Spanish and Ms. (Diane) Taylor for history, both from Simeon. They’re real interesting and have a lot of energy. We pay attention in their classes because it’s so fun.
*Committed but not signed
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