Wiggins answered North Mecklenburg’s call for a scorer
by Staff Writer
North Mecklenburg High, which began in 1951, has a rich basketball legacy.
But, no former Viking in those six decades can match what point guard Shivaughn Wiggins accomplished this season. His 25.1-point scoring average is the highest in school history.
Wiggins, a senior, was a model of consistency all season. He led the Vikings to a 22-6 record and the second round of the N.C. 4A playoffs, and averaged 4.2 assists and 2.3 steals.
He is the Lake Norman Publication’s 2011-12 Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
“I was asked to score more this year,” Wiggins said. “I knew I could do it. I worked (to get open) without the ball, and made sure everyone was involved.”
Most possessions began with the ball in Wiggins’ hands, which meant good things were likely to happen. He was a key ingredient for a team that was replacing seven players who graduated from last year’s squad.
“He did everything we asked him to do,” North Mecklenburg coach Duane Lewis said. “He’s a team player, and he wants to do what will help us win.”
Last year, Wiggins’ role was more passer, and he averaged 7.5 assists, also a school record. This season, Lewis needed Wiggins to score more.
The genesis came last summer, when the gym was steamy and cheering was non-existent. Wiggins got better at shooting by shooting jump shots, again and again.
“I couldn’t leave until I made 250,” he said, laughing. “It was terrible.”
Wiggins’ sweat equity paid off as he led North Mecklenburg to victories in their first seven games. The Vikings were 12-4 in I-MECK 4A conference games, and finished second to West Charlotte.
Wiggins often topped 30 points, despite other teams doing everything possible to contain him.
“I would take three or four of him,” Lewis said. “I think he’s very undervalued because people live in the moment. They see a 5-foot-9 shooting guard. But he’s a true point guard.”
Lewis pointed to the second-round playoff against West Charlotte as proof. Wiggins had 12 points, but dished out nine assists and had only one turnover. The strategy was to work the ball to different players, and Wiggins easily adjusted.
“All he was worried about was winning,” Lewis said. “He didn’t care about the points. He’s a winner. You can’t say that about every player. If he scores six and they win, he’s happy. He was the same no matter what. Last year, when he was passing the ball, he was happy doing that.”
Wiggins topped the 1,000-point mark late in the season, a heady number for a player that was at North Mecklenburg only two seasons (his first two were at Lake Norman Charter).
“For Shivaungh to do that in two seasons is amazing,” Lewis said. “A lot of players don’t do it in three or four.”