Andrew Wiggins walked proudly across the stage to take his spot as the NBA's No. 1 overall draft pick, the culmination of a path he's been pointed down for years.
The Cleveland Cavaliers selected the 19-year-old sensation from Vaughan, Ont., making Wiggins the second consecutive Canadian they've taken with the top pick. The Cavs went for a freshman for the second straight year Thursday and will hope Wiggins works out better than Anthony Bennett of Brampton, Ont.
Wiggins said the ripple effect in Canada will be ``huge,'' and he's proud of that fact.
``It opens doors for all the youth in Canada, it gives them hope,'' Wiggins said. ``Coming up when I was in Canada, I wasn't ranked, I wasn't known. I didn't really have any offers or anything like that. I just kept my head straight, kept working on my game, and look where I am today." ``I just think it gives everyone in Canada hope that they can do the same thing and accomplish whatever I do. Because it's possible if they work hard.''
Wiggins was the star on an historic night for Canadian basketball. Nik Stauskas of Mississauga, Ont., went eighth to the Sacramento Kings. ``This is a huge honour for me,'' Stauskas said. ``This is something I've been working towards since I was seven years old. The face that I'm sitting here in front of all you guys now is just. . . I can't put this into words."
Tyler Ennis of Brampton, Ont., was selected 18th by the Phoenix Suns.
``I think this is a big year,'' said Ennis, a 19-year-old Syracuse point guard that the Raptors had been high on. ``We had the No. 1 pick, we had Nik go in the lottery, myself. . . At the end of the night, Canada has something to be proud of.''
When his name was called, Wiggins slipped on a maroon Cleveland hat, hugged his dad Mitchell and mom Marita, and then strode on stage to shake hands with commissioner Adam Silver, who was calling the first round for the first time since replacing David Stern.
Wiggins makes it three Canadians playing in Cleveland _ the Cavs took forward Tristan Thompson of Brampton, Ont., fourth overall in the 2011.