Candice Wiggins’ first season in professional basketball has been a whirlwind, but given an opportunity to take a little time away and return to her roots momentarily, she jumped at the chance.
Wiggins, a 2004 graduate of La Jolla Country Day who went on to star for Stanford’s women’s basketball team and was drafted third overall by the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx this spring, returned to Country Day from Aug. 1-3 for the first Candice Wiggins Basketball Camp.
Along with Country Day girls basketball coach Terri Bamford and a number of former high school teammates, Wiggins worked with about 50 boys and girls ages 8-16. The players learned fundamentals, played games to develop their new skills and listened to motivational talks from Wiggins.
Giving back“She really wanted to give something back to the community here,” Bamford said. “Going to basketball camp was a great opportunity for her as a kid - she called me and said that she had this time off and really wanted to put on a camp for some of the local kids.”
Wiggins could not be reached for comment.
The WNBA is in the midst of a break in its schedule from July 28-Aug. 27 to accommodate players competing in the Beijing Olympics, which gave Wiggins a perfect opportunity to take some time from her busy schedule to come home for a few days and spend some time in the gym where she became a star.
Wiggins helped lead the Torreys to two state titles and two runner-up
finishes in her four years of high school, and was also named the CIF San Diego Section Division IV Player of the Year in each of her four seasons at Country Day.
Dedication showsWiggins didn’t just lend her name to the camp to help bring it some star power. Bamford said she was impressed with how dedicated her former star player was to working with the young players and truly helping them improve.
Each day, Wiggins cut her lunch break short to talk with the players and answer all their questions, many of which had to do with what it’s like to play professional basketball or how to go about earning an athletic scholarship to college.
“A lot of the kids knew who she was and knew what she accomplished at Stanford,” Bamford said. “Because of that, it was really neat for them to meet her.”
If strictly based on name recognition, interest in the camp can only grow in future years, as Wiggins appears to be adjusting to life in the WNBA.