Andre Iguodala a Wildcat

Andre Iguodala announced his decision to be Wildcat by selecting an Arizona cap and donning it in front of a TV audience at halftime of the Windy City Classic, an annual all-star game featuring players from the Chicago and New York City areas.

There wasn't a lot of suspense. By the time Iguodala donned the Wildcat cap, many of those in attendance already knew where he was going to play his college ball. According to Iguodala's stepfather Leonard Shanklin, the Internet has wiped out anyone's ability to keep a secret.

"With the Internet," Shanklin said. "Everyone already knew, but the (Windy City Classic) offered a perfect place for Andre to make the announcement because all the media was there."

Last fall Iguodala selected Arkansas over Arizona, Kansas and Boston College. But when Nolan Richardson resigned as the Razorbacks' head coach, and with the controversy of a racially charged atmosphere surrounded the university, Iguodala no longer felt comfortable with his commitment.

"There's just no way we could send our child (to Arkansas) after everything happened," Shanklin said. "Andre could not go there."

Iguodala asked for and received a release from his scholarship, but he still must have his Letter of Intent voided by a committee to avoid sitting out a year due to transfer rules. It usually takes the committee three to five weeks to hand down a decision. Three weeks have already passed, therefore a decision could be forthcoming anytime.

Acoording his stepffather, the decision to attend Arkansas was difficult. But once Iguodala had made the decision to leave Arkansas, he knew exactly where he wanted to go.

"Arizona for me was my pick all along," Shanklin said. "It was my first choice. It wasn't Andre's first choice because he always dreamed of playing for Nolan Richardson. But Arizona was my first choice and when Arkansas was out it was Andre's choice too."

When Lute Olson was informed of the family's decision, and that Andre wanted to attend the UA, a meeting between the coach and family was scheduled.

"Lute didn't have to come (for that visit)," Shanklin said Olson's trip to Springfield, Ill. on April 7. "Lute scheduled that meeting because he wanted to come. We thought it would be real nice. However, at the meeting, Andre signed the scholarship papers."

Shanklin said the decision to come to Arizona was an easy one.

"I really liked the way Lute recruited Andre. He never tried to hard-sell his program and I've had enough high-pressure sales, so I really respected the way he went about it. I've been promised things in the past and I know that all that glitters isn't gold. I believe Lute is the guy. He's going to do wonders for (Andre)."

Iguodala is a very good student and will jump-start his degree requirements by enrolling in summer classes in July.

"Andre wants to major in Education," Shanklin said. "with an emphasis on mathematics."

Note: I telephoned Andre several time but have yet to speak with him. I'll add to this feature when I do.


Wildcat Authority Top Stories