Remember Dajuan Wagner? He spent one season under Memphis’ head coach at the time, John Calipari, back in the 2001-02 season before making the leap to the NBA. As the story goes, Calipari ripped apart Wagner’s scholarship following his freshman season, believing the young point guard was better off taking the money as an eventual lottery pick.
Wagner was taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft; could his son soon follow in his father’s footsteps?
On Tuesday, ESPN released its initial rankings for the high school basketball Class of 2023. Sitting atop the list was a familiar name: DJ Wagner, son of Dajuan.
The younger Wagner currently plays for Camden High School up in Camden, NJ and he comes from a long line of basketball royalty. Not only was DJ’s father a McDonald’s All-American and First-Team All-Conference USA player at Memphis, but his grandfather, Milt Wagner, was a basketball legend who played at Louisville. Milt won a title at the high school (Camden High School), college (Louisville), and professional level (Los Angeles Lakers).
DJ Wagner stands at 6-foot-3, weighs roughly 165 pounds, and is a typical Calipari point guard prospect. Calipari hasn’t been able to land a No. 1 ranked recruit since signing Nerlens Noel back in 2012 and if Wagner can maintain his status as the top player in the Class of 2023, he could break that trend. Two insiders over at 247 Sports have already logged Crystal Ball predictions for the ‘Cats to land Wagner. There’s an obvious connection between Wagner and Calipari.
“Wagner Jr. looked comfortable in a setting that consisted of older, more experienced players,” Evan Daniels said of the high school freshman. “The first day of live action, Wagner fit right in, showing change of pace, nifty ball handling ability and an impressive feel for the game. He showed a scoring ability that resembles his father, one of the most prolific scorers in Memphis history. Wagner was so impressive that there was a thought that he could have competed with the lead guards during the USA Basketball u16 trials in June for the Americas Championship team.”
Wagner is a teammate of incoming Kentucky recruit, Lance Ware, who also played high school ball at Camden.
Here is the complete list of the top 25. Son of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, Bronny James, came in at No. 24 as a four-star point guard.