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Candice Wiggins’ Accomplishments Tainted by Father’s Dark Legacy

Former Major Leaguer Alan Wiggins left a legacy that his daughter struggled to overcome as she attempted to make a name for herself on the basketball court. Read Transcript

NARRATOR: Candace Wiggins always had the raw talent and drive

to be one of the best.

A point guard and Southern California native, Candace

achieved her dream of playing in the WNBA

after a record breaking career at Stanford University.

Growing up, she was often compared

to her father, major league baseball player Alan Wiggins.

She was four when he died from AIDS, after a long struggle

with depression and drug abuse.

I ran like him, I looked like him,

so that became like kind of my blueprint

of how I was going to succeed.

Because my family-- I gave them so much comfort.

NARRATOR: In the wake of his death,

Candace felt that her family's well-being depended

on her ability to carry on his legacy of success.

It was definitely the driving force for me,

and I knew that there was a way that I

could create joy in a situation where there was so much pain.

In high school, Candace carried her team to two state titles,

earning her a full ride to Stanford.

There, she became a four time All-American.

Even then, she felt her team's success depended

on how well she performed.

One thing that I did carry very heavy at Stanford

was this idea of putting the women's basketball program

on my back, to the point where even

my senior year at Stanford, my coach, Tara VanDerveer said,

you've been carrying us.

I'm putting pressure on you because we're going with you.

NARRATOR: Candace had become so focused on doing well

at basketball, that her childhood

commitment to Jesus Christ lost its place in her life.

I had never communicated with him.

I had a Bible in my dorm that my grandmother gave me

that I just did not even-- it was a cumbersome thing,

and I was intimidated by it.

I just didn't-- I didn't dive in, I didn't-- I didn't pray.

NARRATOR: Even though she was making a name for herself,

Candace was still under the shadow

of her father's dark legacy.

CANDACE WIGGINS: But now as I was getting bigger and bigger

in college, this monster that was following me

was creeping up.

NARRATOR: That monster confronted her in March 2008.

Hours before her team was to go up against Maryland in the NCAA

quarter finals, she went online to read an article that

had been written about her.

I was thinking that I was going to be this wonderful write up

on myself and just how great and-- man, they

gotta talk about how it was just the biggest game of my life.

And here I am looking for it, and there's nothing on me.

It's all my dad.

NARRATOR: It dawned on Candice that people

cared more about how well she performed than they did her.

It hit me like a knockout punch.

I felt defeated.

I felt like no one cares for my soul.

That's how I felt. For the first time,

I felt like I had been born into terrible circumstances,

and I just kind of started questioning.

This is the biggest game of my entire life,

our family legacy is on the line, my legacy is on the line,

my WNBA dreams are on the line.

Everything is on the line, and I couldn't go to my coach.

I couldn't go to my friends.

I knew they didn't have the answers.

I knew there was only one source, and I just said,

I'm going to go straight to the source.

NARRATOR: Candace knew the only one she could turn to was God.

I was pleading with God, please,

just-- if nothing else, just erase all of this pain

and just-- it's me and you now.

And it was like the first time that I actually

relied on that in my prayer.

And it was like this quietness.

It was like this calm and this peace.

OK, something's different now.

NARRATOR: Candace scored a career high 41 points

that night, leading her team to victory and the spot

in the Final Four.

I broke a record that no male nor female has broken yet,

but the crazy part about the game was that it wasn't me.

Like I wasn't-- it must have been angels or someone,

something around me, because every shot I would take,

I would take it and be like, why would you shoot that?

That's terrible.

I would just throw it up and it would go in.

And then I'd shoot it again and it just went in, and in.

It's just like, oh my gosh, this is an answered prayer.

NARRATOR: The team lost their Final Four match up

against the University of Tennessee,

ending Candace's college career.

But now, Candace didn't base her identity

on wins or losses, or even her father.

It came from her relationship with Jesus Christ.

It was God answering my prayer.

In that time, he knows us when we we're at our lowest point.

And him understanding exactly what

I needed, I needed him to hear me,

and for him to talk to me through the game

to finally be Candace Wiggins, and not Al Wiggins' daughter.

NARRATOR: Recently, after eight years

of professional basketball, Candace

announced her retirement.

She's grown in her faith and has learned even more

about her identity in Jesus Christ.

But there's one lesson she will always take with her.

For me, Jesus was a path to follow a leader.

He gave me an outlet, a way where

I didn't have to be perfect.

My life didn't have to be perfect.

He gave me a way out of all the guilt that I had held onto,

all of the people-pleasing.

I finally could just exhale.


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