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.
Bashir Mason has assisted Dan Hurley at St. Benedict’s Prep and Wagner College.
Now he gets his chance to follow Hurley and be his own head man.
Mason on Sunday was named the new head coach at Wagner, replacing Hurley who agreed last week to a six-year, $4 million deal with Rhode Island.
“We’re very excited that Bashir Mason will be the next head men’s basketball coach here at Wagner College,” Wagner AD Walt Hameline said Monday in a statement.
“There was a great deal of interest in this position and we spent the past few days fielding calls from a host of coaches from all parts of the country. In elevating Bashir, we are getting a young, hungry, aggressive coach who I believe will build on the foundation that we now have in place. He also gives us continuity and a bridge to the success we’ve had and will provide our program and student-athletes with great leadership.
SNY.tv on Friday reported that Mason was the favorite to replace Hurley.
“Bashir’s a smart, young person with outstanding character, strong educational orientation and a remarkable work ethic,” said Wagner College President Dr. Richard Guarasci. “I think he’ll be a great representative of the college. We’re excited to have him.”
“I am really excited and thankful for the opportunity that Dr. Guarasci, Walt Hameline and the rest of the Wagner administration has presented me with,” said Mason. “I am looking forward to the challenge of leading the program while continuing to move Wagner Basketball in the direction it has been going the last two years.”
Last week during an exclusive interview, former Wagner assistant Bobby Hurley said he and his brother had hoped for some continuity once they left the Staten Island school for the Atlantic 10.
“Something that we’re hoping for is that there’s some type of continuity that continues,” Bobby said. “We don’t want to see kids in the program leave, so we’re hoping that maybe someone might be able to continue on with what we did would have a good chance at possibly keeping everything together.”
Sources close to Wagner said Mason was the “players’ choice” and his main task now will be in solidifying the strong recruiting class the Hurleys assembled.
Dwaun Anderson, the Michigan State transfer who is eligible at Wagner in the second semester, plans to remain at the school and play for Mason.
“Dwaun really likes Wagner, and will stay there and is excited to play for Bashir and help take Wagner to the next level,” Matt Pauls, who helped Anderson with his recruitment, told SNY.tv.
Wagner also added 6-8 forward Mike Aaman, 6-5 guard Eric Fanning and 6-3 guard Kameron Mitchell for next year.
“I’m going to stay with Bashir,” Fanning told SNY.tv “He has the same style as Danny. Me and Dwaun talked and we want to keep the program strong.”
Mason came to Wagner from Marist College, where he spent two seasons as an assistant where his responsibilities included recruiting and guard development.
Mason began his coaching career at St. Benedict’s during the 2007-2008 season as coach of the school’s prep team, which won the New Jersey State Prep A Title by virture of a victory over Blair Academy.
A native of Jersey City, NJ, Mason played collegiately for Drexel from 2003-2007 after playing scholastically for Hurley at St. Benedict’s.
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.