My dad gave me many gifts

AP Photo

Alan Wiggins, sliding into home scoring a run for the Padres in the World Series, has given daughter Candice many gifts.

Father's Day is so special because it is the kinship relation between a child and their father that develops the foundation of who that child becomes. A father is a gift we all receive.

It's important to take some time out of this day to think about the many gifts our fathers give us. Some of them are tangible, but the most profound gifts are the ones that are intangible.

Courtesy of Candice Wiggins

Candice Wiggins with her father Alan.

This year I think about the gifts my dad, Alan Wiggins, has given me. Even though I never had a physical connection with him, over the course of my life I've realized with tremendous gratification that he has given me so many gifts. (Some of them, like my "competition sickness," are inadvertently curses.) I know without a shadow of doubt that the reason why I am who I am, and the reason why I'm now playing in the WNBA is largely due to the many gifts he left for me to find.

Discovering who my dad was and subsequently becoming an extremely proud daughter is the premier reason why this season I changed my jersey number of 15 years from No. 11 to No. 2, which was his beloved number when he played Major League Baseball for the Padres and Orioles. I've dedicated the rest of my career to winning for him, because my new-found appreciation for my father consumes me. It's an incredible feeling!

This Father's Day, I challenge you to think about the intangibles that our fathers provide us, even in their absence, and I encourage you to appreciate and reciprocate that wonderful unconditional love.

I would also like to take the time out to acknowledge what I call “earthly fathers.” They are those special dads that step in and fill a void in our hearts that no one else can, and it's their physical presence that provides us the glorious strength and wisdom that we so desperately need to guide our lives in the right direction. I salute you.

Happy Father’s Day!