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.
D.J. Wagner, No. 1 in 2023, takes official visit to Memphis
By ADAM ZAGORIAD.J. Wagner, the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2023 and the son of former Memphis star Dajuan Wagner, is currently on an official visit to Memphis along with his mother, sources told ZAGSBLOG.
The 6-foot-3 Wagner, who runs with the New Jersey Scholars on the Nike EYBL circuit, is the No. 1 point guard and the No. 1 overall prospect in the Class of 2023, per 247Sports.com.
Dajuan Wagner, considered by many the greatest high school player in New Jersey state history, spent a one-and-done year at Memphis under coach John Calipari before becoming the No. 6 overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft.
Because of Calipari’s relationship with Dajuan — and the fact that D.J.’s brother Kareem Watkins is currently on the Kentucky roster — D.J.’s Crystal Ball is currently at 100 percent in favor of Kentucky. Calipari visited Camden High School to see Wagner on the first day college coaches could be out last month.
But D.J. has made it clear he wants to go through the recruiting process and Villanova, Syracuse, Temple and Auburn are among those recruiting him as well.
“I am open to every school and really enjoying the process,” Wagner said in June at Philly Live where Memphis coach Penny Hardaway and Villanova’s Jay Wright were among those to watch him. “I’m not focused on committing right now. I’m focused on high school right now.”
D.J. averaged 22.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game for the Panthers last season on his way to being named 2020-21 N.J. Gatorade Player of the Year.
“At the end of the day, we don’t care what he’s ranked,” said Camden coach Rick Brunson, a longtime NBA veteran. “We’re trying to get him to play at the highest level, so every day we’re pushing him. He loves to play, loves to work, so he’s an easy one.”
Brunson said D.J. is “similar to his dad but he plays off his jump shot. He can really shoot it deep range, not that his father couldn’t. But his father’ s strong, would run you over. D.J.’s still young, he hasn’t gotten that strength yet, but he will.”
He added: “I see him as a basketball player. He’s a guy that can score, if you double him he can pass. He’s not a traditional point guard who can come down and run your offense. He’s a scoring point guard, but he can make the right play.”
After having led Camden to a 42-1 record over his first two seasons, there are plenty of reasons for optimism heading into year three.
In the meantime, Wagner will keep his attention on improving his game. “I’m just having fun and doing what I love to do,” Wagner said. “I don’t see it as pressure. I just want to enjoy what I’m doing.”
Wagner’s visit to Memphis comes during the same week another New Jersey native, five-star guard Zion Cruz, will begin his official visit.
The 6-5 Cruz recently left The Patrick School for Kanye West’s Donda Academy near Los Angeles. He recently re-opened his recruitment after considering UNC, Auburn and Creighton. Those schools are no longer involved in his recruitment.
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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.