Dartmouth’s Wigginton scores in his NBA debut, and then wishes mom a happy birthday

A basketball player from Dartmouth, NS, has become the second person from the province to play a game in the NBA.

Lindell Wigginton, 23, played her first NBA game Thursday night with the Milwaukee Bucks. He also scored his first basket – and it happened on his mother’s birthday.

Nicole Wigginton-Downey saw it on television.

“I actually think I celebrated more for him than I did for my birthday. I was just so happy for him,” she said.

He signed a two-way contract, which means the Bucks can raise him whenever they need him, or send him back to their G-league team.

Nate Darling became the first Nova Scotian to play a match in the NBA in March 2021.

A Nova Scotian work ethic

Steve Konchalski coached them both at the 2017 U-19 Basketball World Cup.

“So rewarding for me personally to see Lindell be able to get into an NBA game. Score a bucket on his first game? He’s definitely a proud Nova Scotian,” the coach said.

“He’s a worker. He believes in himself. I like to think that kind of work ethic is an expression of the kind of work ethic we take pride in here in Nova Scotia.”

Lindell Wigginton of Dartmouth, NS, is embraced by her Milwaukee Bucks teammate, Sandro Mamukelashvili, 54, during a game on January 13, 2022 against the Golden State Warriors. (Abbey Hoerchner / Milwaukee Bucks)

Wigginton’s mother said seeing him on an NBA track for the first time was a dream come true. Her son called her after the fight to wish her happy birthday.

“It was nice to see him get on the floor because I didn’t think he was going to play,” she said.

“He looked really confident. And he’s happy with the team. He’s feeling really comfortable there. I think he was just relieved that it actually happened and that his dream came true.”

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