A ‘final pass’: T-shirts honor Wiggins

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Shun Graves, Writer

 

           Sales continue to increase for a shirt quickly becoming a symbol of Branson’s community doing what it can to honor Kwentyn Wiggins — one of its own who died this summer.

           Wiggins, a rising senior who died in a car accident, was special to the community, basketball teammate and classmate, wrote Peyton Mullarkey, a senior.

“Kwentyn was just a really special kid. He loved people and it showed,” he said. “No one was invisible to him. He brought people together because he related to all walks of life. Young, old, sporty, smart … he just liked people.”

A star athlete, Wiggins was much revered by Branson’s boys’ varsity basketball team. The first MCAL season without him began on Dec. 3, with a 48-26 victory against Redwood — and spectators with a simple message conveyed through T-shirts: “All for You.”

More than 1,000 “All for You” shirts have been sold. 

“The sales have blown us away. We are actually struggling to keep up with the demand. We would like to support the fund in any way [the Wiggins] need,” Mullarkey said.

           Sales of the T-shirts — with a sketch of Wiggins and the “All for You” motto on the front and Wiggins’s number “11” on the back — support the Kwentyn Wiggins Scholarship Fund. The fund allows for one student each year unable to pay tuition to attend Branson. For Mullarkey and the rest of the team, it’s their “final pass” to him.

“We were all lucky enough to play with him the weekend he passed. It was our final game together. It was a great game,” he said. “My last pass to Kwentyn was an alleyoop pass. We locked eyes and I looped him the ball. He rose up, grabbed it out of the air and dunked it so hard. 

“This scholarship is our final pass. We are passing the ball to the next deserving kid that can come to Branson because of the Kwentyn scholarship fund.”

           Commonly seen on campus, the shirts change a tragedy into a manifestation of Branson’s community values. Mullarkey said the shirts bring a sense of unity.

           “They allow everyone to come together for good. A horrible tragedy like this can really crush a community. These T-shirts bringing us together for the common purpose of remembering what a great guy Kwentyn was and reminding us to all love our best lives. We are all wearing the number 11. We are united for good.”

           And the “All for You” motto — chosen by the team, he said, “because we are planning to honor him all season” — has spread outside Branson as well, a united message for all. Reporters from television stations KPIX and KTVU, as well as from the Marin Independent Journal, have noted the effort. Those getting tickets for Branson’s Dec. 18 rock concert can also donate to the fund.

           For sophomore Jaliyah Wiggins, Kwentyn’s sister, the effort has indeed been “All for You.”

           “I do think the T-shirts are fitting ways of honoring my brother. I think he would’ve appreciated them and maybe laughed at the little character of him on the front of the shirts. His spirit was so light and easy-going, and I think he used it as a way to connect with his peers and have fun with anyone he met,” she said.

She added that “he was special to this community in a lot of ways. He helped people he didn’t know, he was kind and forgiving, and he always knew how to make someone laugh when they felt down. He was special in a way no one else could replicate. He was one of a kind.”