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Rising Stars MVP Wiggins already has eye on Olympics

POSTED: Feb 14, 2015 12:28 AM ET

By Scott Howard-Cooper

BY Scott Howard-Cooper


Postgame: Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins addresses the media following Team World's 121-112 win over Team USA Friday night.

— It was just one game played at partial speed in an arena mostly lacking energy, 40 minutes of NBA frivolity that should never be confused with anything real. But it was also Andrew Wiggins, Canada's Andrew Wiggins, taking on the United States, so confuse away.

The Rising Stars Challenge at Barclays Center was supposed to be about coming attractions anyway, the top first- and second-year international players against their U.S. counterparts with the same experience. Timberwolves rookie Wiggins just took it to a different level, with a possible preview and a definite image.

Already at the forefront of Canada's planned ascent on the global basketball stage -- well under way with the recent influx of players in the NBA the last few seasons -- Wiggins added to that with 22 points on eight-for-11 shooting to win the MVP award as the World beat the U.S. 121-112 on Friday night.

World vs. USA

Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points and was named MVP as Team World topped Team USA 121-112 in the 2015 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.

Asked if he is looking forward to playing Team USA -- the real one -- in international competition, Wiggins said, "Definitely. That's a game I dream of. And hopefully we can play in the Olympics."

Pressed if he would play for his homeland this summer, in the tournament to qualify for the 2016 Olympics (as the reigning World Cup champion, the U.S. is exempt) Wiggins said, "Right now I'm taking it day by day. But it's something I would love to do." Coming attractions, indeed.

World teammate Rudy Gobert of the Jazz contributed 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, while Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo added 12 points and 10 rebounds in the first year with the new format.

Victor Oladipo of the Magic and Zach LaVine, Wiggins' teammate in Minnesota, each had 22 points for the U.S.

"I also would like to say that I think we've got to re-arrange this game," said U.S. coach Alvin Gentry, a Warriors assistant in real life. "I think it should be North America against the World. And then that way we get Canada. If we get Canada, we have Wiggins on our team."