From playing for the Leavenworth High School Pioneers basketball team to playing a casual tennis match or video games, LHS senior Cameron Wiggins competes to win.
But, sometimes it’s just as much about having fun.
“He’s just an awesome person to be around,” senior LHS basketball teammate Jason Randall said. “He’s all about laughs and jokes and he’s just a good guy.”
Randall and Wiggins first met in sixth grade and basketball brought them closer together.
“He got me with his traveling MAYB team, the Kansas City Panthers, and we’ve just been playing ball with each other ever since then,” Randall said.
Randall moved to Washington before their eighth-grade year, but the pair was reunited at LHS as freshmen.
“Here we are seniors, it’s went by pretty fast,” Randall said.
At 6-foot 2-inches, Wiggins isn’t the biggest or strongest player, but moves around the court smoothly.
“Just some of the things he does, ‘Did Cameron really just do that,’” Randall said.
Those skills made him the most decorated Pioneers player this past season.
Cameron didn't just lead the team in points, assists, steals and rebounds, he broke the school record for free throw percentage in a season at 89 percent.
The record stood since Larry Dougherty shot 86 percent 30 years ago.
Cameron was named second team all-5A by the Topeka Capital-Journal and honorable mention all-5A by the Wichita Eagle.
Cameron also earned all-Sunflower League honors, being named to the second team.
LHS basketball fans might remember another Wiggins suiting up for the Pioneers, Cameron’s older brother, Kyle.
He is a junior at Washburn University, a Division II school in Topeka. Kyle finished this past season second on the team in points per game (15) and led the team with four assists per game.
If the numbers sound familiar, it’s because Cameron diid the same at LHS.
“That’s what people didn’t realize last year was he led our team in assists,” LHS head coach Larry Hogan said. “He was our leading scorer at like 15 points a game, but he also led the team in assists and he found other people.”
Cameron said he remembers playing soccer at a young age, but Kyle influenced a switch to basketball.
“I’ve always been a fan of my brother,” Cameron said. “He’s always been my best friend. He wasn’t one of those brothers who beat me up; he was definitely one of those friend-brothers. Watching him play and be good at it definitely pushed me to be good at it and kind of be like him.”
Despite the 65-mile distance between the two and busy school schedules, they see each other at least a few times a month.
“He’s a real big supporter,” Cameron said. “He usually tries to come down every Friday whenever he’s done with practice. He’ll usually have a game the next day, so he’ll come down and eat dinner with us and head back up to his college and we’ll go watch him play.”
Kyle said most of their gym visits together now are more about going through drills and making each other better players, but there was always a rivalry growing up.
“He always thought he could beat me,” Kyle said. “If I let him win anything, he’s never going to let me forget it. Growing up, I never really took it that easy on him. He might have lucked up and beat me one time that I could remember, but he’ll probably tell you he beat me 10 or 15 times.”
Cameron said he would beat Kyle about four times out of 10, but Kyle isn’t buying it.
“I’m sure he told you that,” Kyle said. “I’m going to give him one as a courtesy just because I’m a nice guy. Other than that, he definitely wouldn’t get four.”
Whether who is right, they find time to just hang out and get away from the basketball rivalry for at least some time.
“We usually just sit around, watch TV and just talk about what’s going on,” Kyle said. “We usually play a lot of video games together, and then if I have time, we always go to the gym.”
Street Fighter and Tekken make their war into the video game console when Kyle is around, but NBA 2K basketball and Call of Duty are whipped out when Randall comes around.
“Every time the new Call of Duty is out its like, ‘Let’s one-versus-one each other and see who’s going to win,’” Randall said. “It’s good times over at the Wiggins house.”
Randall said he and Cameron don’t play one-on-one much, but there are plenty of trick shot attempts influenced by highlight videos.
“Like the top ESPN ranked guys,” Randall said. “Like when Andrew Wiggins and all those guys were in high school, we would just watch those hoops mixed tapes and just see the things that they do and just watch. We watch LeBron James’ top 10 dunks and just crazy stuff like that.”
Cameron said he enjoys watching the NBA and was a Tracy McGrady fan, but also became a fan of former Duke player Seth Curry, who recently signed a 10-day contact for the Cleveland Cavaliers and spent time in the NBA Developmental League.
He said Duke became his favorite team because of J.J. Redick, who was a National Player of the Year in 2006 at Duke.
Cameron and Jason said they enjoy taking time to relax and watch the NCAA Tournament.
“We get a box of pizza and we jut sit around and watch,” Randall said.
Of course, Cameron cheers on Duke and Randall roots for the Kansas Jayhawks. Before the tournament, Randall predicted an early exit for Duke, which came true when the Blue Devils fell to Mercer in the round of 64.
“I’ve already let him know that I don’t see Duke doing anything this year,” Randall said before the tournament started. “He wasn’t happy about that, but he’s a real big Duke fan and he would like to see them go far this year. Ever since I got to Kansas, I’ve been a Jayhawk in basketball, so I will hope coach (Bill) Self can get those guys and take it this year.”
But, KU suffered a similar fate, losing to Stanford in the round of 32.
Cameron may be watching Division I basketball this year, but Randall said Cameron could be the one on the court in the future.
“I think Cameron can play the highest level of college basketball,” he said. “He’s a very hard worker and he listens to the coach. He’s the captain of the team, so I think he can go on and play ball and I would love to see him go on to play ball.”
Kyle agreed that Cameron is the type of player who can play at the highest level.
“I think he has all the skill sets that you need to be a successful player at any level he plays at,” Kyle said. “He’s kind of a Swiss Army knife.”
Hogan said it’s a "wait and see" situation as far as college offers.
“There’s probably some sitting out there thinking, ‘Well, we can’t get him, he’s too good for us,’” he said. “We’ll see as it goes.”
Cameron said playing in college is a goal and that he might want to major in journalism in hopes of being on TV one day.
“Hopefully it will start falling into place pretty soon,” he said. “I want to go somewhere that’s close to home where I can still reach out.”