Having survived our youths by avoiding anything strenuous of dangerous, including contact sports, by simply saying, “Our Mums won’t let us,” we can relate to the code hopping of young Tamuri Wigness.
He learned his basketball moves, according to him, “I think rugby league. I used to play rugby league; touch football. Touch football is mainly on passes, so I picked it up from there; side-stepping and stuff like that.”
Wigness’ Mum made him stop playing football, using the universal mother code of, “It’s too rough.”
She obviously never saw the ballet style of football played by the NSW Blues in State of Origin.
Wigness had the chance to show his skills recently at the NBA’s All-Star weekend, where he participated in the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp. He drew gasps from those in attendance when he threw a no-look pass to a teammate under the rim. The gasps were because Wigness threw the pass from the half-court line.
NBA scouts in attendance were impressed, although Wigness is just 16 and has to develop his skills before he can contemplate bidding adieu to Cairns for a post in the NBA. He has been working on his game at the NBA Academy in Canberra.
He has to finish high school first, as another time-tested Mum saying, “First you have to finish school,” eliminated any chance of abandoning the books and chasing life as a professional basketball player at his tender age.
The main event of the weekend, the NBA All-Star game in Charlotte, North Carolina, was an opportunity for Ben Simmons to shine. Even though the All-Star game is an exhibition, Simmons was smarting for some time after being snubbed for All-Star selection last year.
He put up the sort of stat line that earned him a pick in this year’s game.
Simmons made all five of his shot attempts, grabbed six rebounds and dished out seven assists in the losing effort.