Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wiley Makes It Official

For the past several months, Austin Wiley has spent considerable time on the road. The commitment to excellence takes maturity and sacrifice.

 A hyper-competitive basketball schedule has allowed him to visit Spain, New York City, and most recently Florida.

Last month, he spent time in Colorado training with the USA basketball team.

The suddenly well-traveled 6-foot-11 Class of 2017 Center is cognizant that he won't always have his tight-knit, Birmingham-bred family around him.

And so on Wiley's signing day today in Orlando, he spent five minutes FaceTime chatting with his mother, Vickie Orr Wiley.

It was an event Orr Wiley, who is back home in Birmingham, Ala., simply did not want to miss.

Sporting a perma-smile and a blue and gray hoodie with AUBURN emblazoned on the front, Wiley inked his LOI and made it official.

"It's a blessing, I'm just glad to get it over with," said Wiley, who chose Auburn over Duke, Kansas, LSU, UAB, and a barrage of other top-shelf high-major programs.

"Not just basketball-wise, it is a great place for me overall. I really enjoyed the school. Even if I didn't play basketball, I would go there as a regular student. That's how much I think of it. I love the family environment."

Auburn represents family both figuratively and literally for Wiley.

The aforementioned Orr Wiley was a legendary basketball player at Auburn, piloting the team to numerous national title game berths. She collected two medals during her career with the United States national women's basketball team.

His father, Aubrey Wiley, played forward at Auburn. He was known as a tactical big man who embraced the physicality of the interior.

Wiley's cousin, Auburn alum and former NBA forward Chuck Person, is currently an assistant coach under Bruce Pearl. His other cousin, former NBA guard Wesley Person, played alongside his father during their Auburn heyday.

 Wiley was quick to note his close relationship with Bruce Pearl helped facilitate his decision.

"Our recruiting class is a group of guys who have the chance to make an immediate impact," Wiley said.

"We all work hard and we all have kind of an edge to us, to where we don't take losing as an option. We're all going to bring everyone together, we should be able to make history at Auburn."

At Spain Park High (AL), Wiley averaged 21.7 points and 12.1 rebounds in spearheading his team to a Class 7A state title berth. He was named one of six MVPs in the prestigious Elite 24 Game this summer.

The athletic rim-to-rim big provides low post scoring and authors high efficiency. He possess a soft touch from 15-20 feet and has improved mightily on the defensive end, providing adequate rim protection.

He transferred to The Conrad Academy in Orlando, following a summer with Team Thad on the AAU circuit.