2018 Star Marvin Bagley Looks Like the Future of Basketball | Zagsblog
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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.
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Monday / July 15.
  • 2018 Star Marvin Bagley Looks Like the Future of Basketball

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    NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — I have seen the future of basketball and his name is Marvin Bagley.

    Standing at 6-foot-11 and weighing 215 pounds, the 16-year-old Bagley attracted a crowd at the Peach Jam on Friday afternoon that included Kentucky coach John Calipari, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and two assistants and a slew of other high-major coaches who all came to see basketball’s next big thing.

    “It was a crazy feeling,” Bagley, who plays for Tempe (AZ) Corona Del Sol High, said in the corner of the gym after putting up 20 points and 16 rebounds in We All Can Go’s 65-53 win over Mokan Elite in the 16s division. “I wasn’t expecting them to come watch these games. But I’m just thankful, man. It’s been a great experience.”

    The No. 1 player in the Class of 2018 according to ESPN.com, Bagley averaged 19.6 points and 10.3 rebounds, helping his high school team capture a fourth consecutive Division I boys state championship.

    He has the look of a future pro.

    “Bagley has unbelievable instincts, length and fast-twitch muscles,” one D-1 assistant coach told SNY.tv. “Surefire pro prospect in a few years.”

    “He has an unbelievable motor and a tremendous skill level,” another coach said. “He has the whole package.”

    A soft-spoken and humble young man, Bagley appears to have strong support from his parents and carries himself impressively.

    “Character and personality are talents,” one D-1 head coach sitting courtside said. “He seems to have both.”

    Bagley also has the gene pool to be a star.

    His grandfather on his mother Tracy Bagley’s side, Jumpin’ Joe Caldwell starred at Arizona State and was a two-time NBA All-Star.

    His father, Marvin Bagley Jr., was a 6-5 wide receiver at North Carolina A&T State and played Arena football for the Arizona Rattlers in 1998. He now coaches his son’s AAU team.

    Bagley picked up his first scholarship offer from Northern Arizona when he was 14, according to USA Today.

    Now he holds offers from bluechip schools like Duke and Kentucky.

    Together, he and his father, a Durham, N.C., native, recently visited Duke and he picked up a scholarship offer.

    “I got to see a lot, a lot I didn’t know I could see,” he said. “I mean, the gym is real good and it’s obviously real different when you’re in the gym rather than watching it on TV. And I learned a lot while I was on that visit. It should be a great experience.”

    As for picking up an offer from Duke he said, “When they offered me I was shocked, shocked at first. But it just me want to keep getting in the gym. It puts a bigger target on my back. Everybody wants to come after me now, so I gotta keep staying in the gym, trust in God and everything will come naturally to me.”

    Bagley also recently added a Kentucky offer when Calipari called to deliver it.

    “He called my dad and my dad put me on the phone and I got to talk to him a little bit,” Bagley said. “I couldn’t believe it, I was shocked. But he told me a lot of good stuff, a lot of tips on how to keep working hard and don’t ever get complacent. Just keep pushing yourself to the limit and the sky’s the limit if you do that.”

    Arizona and Arizona State are also trying to keep Bagley from leaving the state.

    “Me and my dad talked to a couple of the coaches,” he said. “We talked to [Arizona State coach] Bobby Hurley not too long ago and I think he talked to U of A not too long ago.”

    Bagley knows the stories of his grandfather starring at Arizona State, and Hurley no doubt is playing that up.

    “If the bloodlines are correct, then maybe you have to look at it,” Caldwell, then 71, told USA Today two years ago. “In the seventh grade, I was dunking with two hands. He has springs.”

    As far as his recruitment, Bagley says he didn’t have a dream school growing up.

    “I’m just a fan, I like to see good games and I just want to learn,” he said. “Whoever is playing, I just want to take a little stuff from their game and just put it into my game.

    “I’m just continuing to get better and when the time comes to pick a school, it will be time for me.”

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    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.

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