Kentucky lands No. 1 men’s basketball recruit D.J. Wagner

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John Calipari has landed another blue-chip prospect from the Wagner family.

Guard D.J. Wagner, the top-ranked high school senior in boys’ basketball, announced Monday he’ll play for the Kentucky Wildcats, per multiple outlets.

“This was an extremely difficult decision that I went back-and-forth with for a long time. That’s why it took so long,” Wagner said, ESPN reported. “I’m real comfortable with my decision. Coach John Calipari was always straightforward and honest with me. He said he would be with me until the wheels fall off the car either way. And that meant so much to me. When I watched him coach I could feel the intensity, how he disciplines his team and how he breaks it down. …

“The atmosphere at Kentucky is unbelievable. I’ve been there several times, and it’s what I’m most comfortable with.”

Wagner’s decision came down to Kentucky and in-state rival Louisville, with family ties playing a big part in the process. His father and former NBA lottery pick Dajaun Wagner played for Calipari at Memphis, while Louisville head coach Kenny Payne played with D.J. Wagner’s grandfather.

Wagner, a native of Camden, New Jersey, was named the 2021-22 Gatorade New Jersey Boys Basketball Player of the Year after averaging 19.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.1 steals per game.

Wagner caps a stacked 2023 Kentucky recruiting class, as the program also got top-eight prospects Justin Edwards, Aaron Bradshaw and Robert Dillingham to commit.

Kentucky is 2-0 and plays Michigan State on Tuesday.


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