Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Eric Fanning Bolsters Strong Recruiting Haul at Wagner
Dan Hurley says he wants to turn Wagner College into the Butler of the East Coast.
While that lofty goal remains far off on the horizon at this point, Hurley and his staff are making tremendous recruiting strides at the Staten Island school.
Having already landed 6-foot-8 2012 power forward Mike Aaman from Raritan High School, Wagner on Monday secured a verbal pledge from 6-5, 200-pound wing Eric Fanning from The Perkiomen School near Philadelphia.
“Wagner to me, it was the way to go,” Fanning told SNY.tv by phone. “It was a nice campus. I love the coaching staff. Coach Danny, coach Bobby [Hurley], coach Bashir [Mason] made me feel like a part of the family.
“They got a bright future. Coach Hurley came in and had a significant amount of wins in his first year with a little bit of recruiting. They got a really good class in 2011. Then we got my class, me and Mike Aaman.”
The 2011 class includes 6-8 French wing Hugo Naurais, 6-5 California JUCO star Jonathan Williams, 6-8 big man Eugene McCrory of Central Jersey Each One Teach One, 6-7 wing Mario Moody of East Orange, N.J. and 5-11 point guard Marcus Burton of Charlotte, N.C.
Fanning, who also had offers from Rice, LIU and Boston University and interest from several Atlantic 10 schools, was considered an upper mid-major prospect after his performance at the Hoop Group Elite Camp, while Aaman played well at the Reebok Breakout Challenge.
“Eric’s a 6-5 wing and very strong, very athletic,” said Matt Pauls, his AAU coach with Team NJABC. “Of all the kids I’ve coached over the years, the last eight years, 20 plus Division 1 kids, he scores the ball better than and in more ways than anyone I’ve ever coached. He shoots the ball, gets to the foul line, draws contact. He just scores and scores and scores. In Danny’s system at Wagner, how he gives guys some creative freedom to score the ball, it’s going to be a great fit.”
Fanning said he shares Hurley’s vision of trying to take Wagner to the Big Dance.
“The future is looking bright there,” Fanning said. “I can go in there and get taught by the best coaches in the game, go there and learn a lot and just have fun. Win games and go to the tournament.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.