One of CT’s leading scorers during his tenure at East Hartford High, Doug Wiggins exemplifies perseverance…

by CTalentTv on September 1, 2011

Doug Wiggins is one of our brightest star to come from CT. His journey has been filled with more speed bumps than one could imagine. What separates Wiggins from the rest is simply his will and drive to never give up regardless of the obstacles. A true champion in my book. Doug Wiggins not only shows courage and strength on the court, but he also demonstrates perseverance off the court. Interview inside. 

Growing up in the greater Hartford area, when did you realize you wanted to pursue basketball as a way to improve your conditions in life? As a kid, I was very active. I played just about every sport you think of from one time to another. I was in the 6th grade when I realized that basketball was a route to help improve and better my families living situation. The more and more that I played, the more whispers I heard about me being a special player. As I grew older and became more aware of those expectations, it also helped me realize that basketball can easily change my whole life as long as I let it!

Was there anyone in particular person that influenced you to play Basketball? I can’t really say that there was someone in particular. There were many different incidents that helped me stay on track basketball wise. Basketball was always an escape route from my problems at home and in the neighborhood. I like to look at is as I created my own path to my future. Although, if it weren’t for Emanuel “mannie” Chaney there’s no telling when I would have got involved with organized ball. He picked me up off the streets one day and gave me the opportunity to play for my first organized basketball team. So I kind of like to look at it as if he got me started in the right direction.

Enrolling into East Hartford High, did you know about Will Solomon legacy and how he was destroying defenses for 30 and 40 points on any given night? Yes I did know about will’s legacy. Every ball player that walked through those gym doors knew about Solomon. My older brother is actually good friends with him so I’ve heard stories from him. While I was in high school I even had the chance to work out with him a couple times. His high school coach was my gym teacher and my high school coach at the time would share some memories with me from time to time.

While you were in High School there were stories about you shooting as deep as half court and making them consistently. What happened to you being a deep threat scorer? ha ha yea I get asked this question a lot. I can still shot that shoot consistently but as a point guard, that’s not a part of the game that they are paying professional point guards to do. When that shot is needed I still am pretty confident that I can make it.

Was there any one player from CT in particular that you always wanted to play, but never got the chance to? To be honest, there wasn’t really anybody in the state that I had wanted to match up with. I always wanted to play schools from the 203 area codes such as Hill House, Harding, and Trinity Catholic. Basically all of the power house schools at the time!

Who would you say you modeled your game after growing up, before you found you own swag on the court? I like to take a little bit from all the top point guards in the league and add my own wave to it. The more basketball you watch the more about the game you’ll learn, it’s much more to the game than just playing it!

In your opinion, who was the best CT basketball player you have either played with or against? CT has a lot of talent. I’ve played against and with many tough guards, too many to actually name. During my varsity era, I would have to say Diedrick king out of New Britain high!

Who was the best CT Basketball player you ever watched in your entire life? Once again, another tough question because I’ve seen a lot of basketball but with my latest memories, I’ll have to go with Ryan Gomes from Waterbury

Name your top 10 players from CT that you would travel state to state with representing CT. My roster would be made up of Keith “beefy” Cothran (URI) Chauncey Hardy (SHU) Charles “da beast” Easterling (undecided) Ryan Gomes (LAC) Jordan Williams (NJN) Chris Prescott (SJU/SPU) Danny “jigg” Lawhorne (Midland Juco) Jared Jordan (Marist), Andre Drummond (undecided) Roosevelt Lee (undecided)

Toughest player you had to guard in High School? During high school I matched up with almost every guard in the country, my toughest matchups were against Tywon Lawson (Nuggets), Edgar Sosa (Louisville), Corey fisher (Villanova), Malcolm Grant (UMiami)

Toughest player you had to guard in College? Derrick Rose was by far the toughest to guard during my college career.

Hands down, I have never seen someone go through so many changes in athletic programs and still prove people wrong by finishing school. Explain to the people of CT where were you mentally during all these changes? Dealing with all the ups and downs wasn’t easy. One way that helped me get through the struggles was keeping to myself. “outta sigh outta mind” is the best when you’re dealing with your personal struggles. When u let others in they have the ability to affect your decision making. They cloud your thoughts easily. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself around people who have the best interest for you. Listening to the outside world stare you in the wrong direction and cause you to make rash decisions. Wish I had known what I know now back then but life doesn’t work like that. We all mature at our own pace and unfortunately my lack of maturity at the time caused me to transfer from UCONN, a dismissal from UMASS, to being ineligible at my first NAIA school (Robert Morris), to finally exhausting my eligibility at NAIA Mountain State University and graduating with a degree in liberal studies. This journey has been controlled by the man above. during all these moves, I was able to keep faith that as long as I worked hard and made better decisions, all that I once had going for me would come right back around. So that I did and in due time, I was named captain of my team and led us to the national championship, earned all-tournament team and 3rd team All American honors.

So what’s next after Mountain State for Mr. Wiggins? With the whole lockout going on, there’s no telling where ill end up playing professionally. I plan on playing overseas by the end of the summer and hopefully come back and play my way into the NBA next year.

On behalf of CTalent sport we appreciate your time and wish nothing but success in your life. We will continue cheering you on as you hold the state of CT down where ever you end up playing.  Any words of advice you would like to leave for those who are facing challenges while trying to pursue their dreams? Don’t stop chasing and believing in your dream. Anything is possible; you just have to be willing to make sacrifices. Look at every challenge as an opportunity. An opportunity to prove to god that you deserve what he has in store for you. When that unexpected curveball gets thrown remember, your future depends on whether you fold or fight through the struggle. Those who don’t fold but show determination and dedication turn out to be the successful ones! DREAM BIG!

~I appreciate CTalent and your support. I look forward to doing future projects with you guys~
Yours truly and CT’s own,

Doug Wiggins

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