Maryland basketball’s Aaron Wiggins was selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round of the NBA draft. Wiggins was chosen with the No. 55 overall pick Thursday evening after opting to leave the Terrapins’ program with one year of eligibility remaining.

Wiggins, a 6-foot-6 wing, was projected to be at best a late second-round pick in this year’s draft, but the feedback he received from teams during the pre-draft process swayed him to turn pro.

“Teams seem to love me,” Wiggins said in an interview earlier this month after he decided to keep his name in the draft. “I can’t ignore what teams are saying based off of my workouts, based off of the combine, the pro days and interviews. And I’ve got to continue to keep my foot on the gas and just move forward.”

This marks the fourth straight year the Terps have had a player selected in the draft. Wiggins follows his former teammates Jalen Smith (No. 10 pick in 2020) and Bruno Fernando (No. 34 pick in 2019). In 2018, Kevin Huerter was drafted with the No. 19 pick, and Justin Jackson left school early and became the No. 43 pick.

Wiggins, 22, had an impressive surge to end his junior season. He was the second-leading scorer with 14.5 points per game, trailing only Eric Ayala, who chose to return to the program for his senior season in 2021-22. Wiggins made 44.6 percent of his shots from the field, while also averaging 5.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists. During a 12-game stretch to end the season, Wiggins scored 17.9 points per game, including a career-high 27 points in Maryland’s loss to Alabama in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Wiggins had a key role in the Terps’ run to the Big Ten regular season title in 2020. As a sophomore he earned the conference’s sixth man of the year award. Wiggins scored 10.4 points per game that season off the bench. The Terps finished 24-7 and were projected to earn a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament that was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Greensboro, N.C., native improved each season in College Park, and his length and athleticism made him an attractive NBA prospect. At Maryland, Wiggins started 50 of his 96 games and finished his career with 1,052 points.

Wiggins wasn’t initially invited to the NBA combine but he was added to the event after a strong showing at the G League Elite Camp. Through the spring and summer, he said he continued to receive positive feedback from NBA teams, which gave him the confidence to leave Maryland rather than trying to improve his stock with a standout senior season.

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