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Star Basketball Player Thanks Community in Open Letter

Andrew Wiggins, the consensus No. 1 men's basketball recruit in the class of 2013, is often lauded for his politeness and humility.

Those two characteristics were on full display this past week.

A few days after graduating from Huntington St. Joseph Prep in West Virginia, Wiggins penned an open letter to the community in the town's newspaper, The Herald-Dispatch. In the letter, the Canadian-born Wiggins thanked the community for all its members did for him during his two years at the school.

"I just wanted to thank Huntington for your support for me and my Huntington Prep teammates and coaches these past two years. Without the community, none of what has been accomplished would have been attainable. I hope that when you hear or read my name, you are proud to say I played my high school days here in Huntington. Because I am proud to say I played here.

McDonald's East All-Americans Andrew Wiggins, 22, and Julius Randle, 30, battle for a rebound with McDonald's West All-American's Isaac Hamilton, 4, during the second half of the McDonald's All-American Boys basketball game in Chicago in early April. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

I like to represent my hometown of Thornhill, Ontario, and my country of Canada in a positive light and I will do the same for Huntington and for my team and coaches of Huntington Prep. It has been such a positive experience, and I would advise any player to come to Huntington Prep.

One of the best things about my experience here is St. Joseph Central Catholic H.S. where we all attend. There are a lot of good people in that building from the principal to the teachers to the janitor; I will never forget all the positive influences they have been in my development as a young man. My peers at St. Joe have also been supportive of me and have always treated me as one of their own. I am not different, just a kid, and at St. Joe I could be. Thank you."

You can check out the entire letter on the Herald-Dispatch's website.

In the fall of 2012, Eric Prisbell of USA Today called Wiggins the "anti-LeBron," writing, "In an industry marred by hyperbole and over-the-top bravado, here's a 17-year-old who has no idea how good he is." In a March 2013 Sports Illustrated article, Wiggins is called "unfailingly polite, humble, and always willing to deflect attention to his teammates."

Those characteristics were on display earlier this month when he announced that he'd be attending the University of Kansas this fall. Instead of conducting a major televised press conference announcing his decision, Wiggins held an event in his local gymnasium and only invited one reporter, Grant Traylor from the Herald-Dispatch, according to DelcoTimes.com.

Of course, minutes after announcing his decision, his Twitter mentions were flooded with an endless wave of hate speech from disappointed fans of schools he spurned. You can't please everybody, after all.

By penning the recent thank-you letter to his West Virginia community, however, at least he did well by the people closest to him.

Photo: McDonald's East All-Americans Andrew Wiggins, 22, and Julius Randle, 30, battle for a rebound with McDonald's West All-American's Isaac Hamilton, 4, during the second half of the McDonald's All-American Boys basketball game in Chicago in early April. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

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