Quantcast
Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 at 10:30 am  |  30 responses

Dajuan Wagner Hopes to Eventually Resume His Basketball Career


The Philly Daily News recently caught up with the reclusive Dajuan Wagner — his once-promising career was cut short by injuries — who says that he’d like to give the NBA another shot. This would be an amazingly awesome comeback story for the soon-to-be 29-year old: “If you want to find Dajuan Wagner, go to a Camden basketball game. Duh. [...] I approached him at halftime, while his son went to the concession stand. If Wagner didn’t want to talk, he didn’t act like it. He was soft-spoken and polite, shy even. He told me he’s on the court almost every day, alone in empty gyms and or playing in pickup games that have become profoundly meaningful to him. His skills, his dead-on radar for the basket, haven’t left, but he did say he needs time to feel right before he thinks about coming back. He needs to be confident that his body can do what it once did without question. ‘My goal is to be out there playing basketball someday,’ he says. ‘No one’s ever had the problems I’ve had and come back. I’m getting there. This is the best I’ve ever felt in a long, long time. People think I’m out there just sitting around, but I’m not.’ Over the last 18 months, Wagner has been training at a facility just outside of Ocean City. Jon Porter, the strength-and-conditioning specialist at Elite Athletic Performance in Seaville, said Wagner is about 90 percent ready. He trains like ‘a football player,’ Porter says, and straps 100-pound weights around his waist when he does pull-ups. ‘He does everything I ask, no questions asked.’ Porter thinks Wagner could be ready for the 2012-13 NBA season. ‘It’s a matter of getting the legs back to game shape,’ he says. ‘His shot is incredible. That hasn’t changed at all. He can shoot from pretty much anywhere. It’s almost surreal to watch.’ The ability to score, to find his shots, has never been the issue with Wagner. It’s his health that has. ‘If he said tomorrow, ‘I am playing,’ there would be such a buzz. The whole league would be abuzz,’ the NBA scout says. ‘Can he play? Is he healthy? Those are the million-dollar questions.’ The scout, who asked not to be identified, says Wagner needs to showcase his talents in competitive games, either in Europe or the NBA Development League. One of the advantages of not having played all these years, the scout says, is Wagner’s body hasn’t taken NBA-style abuse for years. ‘If he’s in good shape and he’s healthy, then go show us. The league is dying for talent,’ the scout said. ‘If Dajuan Wagner is a guy who came off your bench and gave you 11 or 12 points, he could fit anywhere.’ Still, neither Wagner nor anyone in his inner circle will commit to a date. ‘I honestly don’t know the timetable,’ says Arthur ‘OG’ Barclay, Wagner’s best friend and former teammate at Camden and Memphis. ‘He’s been working out for a while now. He’s definitely going to give it another try.’”

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags:

  • http://slamonline.com/ Abe Schwadron

    Juanny!!!!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I remember when he was supposed to be a big time scorer coming into the L. After he dropped 100 in HS, and trained with iverson. (Practice? lol)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    He’s only 29?!?!

  • http://www.slamonline.com aman from arkansas

    D-League

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Anyone who can score 100 points in a single game is a pretty special player.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Spent a lot of time with Juanny back in the day and he was one of the chillest basketball “stars” I’ve ever been around. Whether he makes it back to the L or not I always wish him the best.

  • underdog

    I root for him.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Would be a great comeback story. Even better if he can average 11 or 12 points right off the bat.

  • fruizm

    wow I completely forgot about this guy haha.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    This guy was “Can’t Miss” coming out of high school. Such and explosive scorer. Power, handle, hops, and his jumper was wet. Hard for 6’2 “lead guards” to find a spot in the L once they lose their explosiveness due to injuries. I wish Juanny Wags all the best!

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com Enigmatic

    Man, I remember he was heading into his second year in the L when they drafted LeBron, and I figured Juanny would blow up in his second year and him and Bron would team up to force a really dope duo.
    But didn’t happen that way.
    People often say Derrick Rose was the first really high profile recruit that Calipari was able to both recruit AND coach (others like Amare opted to go pro intsead, Rose didn’t have a choice) but really it was Juanny and then to a lesser extent Darius Washington after him.

  • bike

    An incrediable talent for sure, but he was another one of these ‘too small for a nba shooting guard and not exactly a true point guard’. He’s really kidding himself though. His age plus injury history are not going to put him in the league no matter how sharp his shot still is.

  • jake

    Lakers please. This guy was nasty when he played with Ricky Davis.

  • http://www.boogiewilliams.com Boing Dynasty

    He wasnt really injury prone, he just caught a string of bizarre medical conditions.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance DFrance21

    Idk Bike, like the scout said, he hasn’t been playing competetive ball so he’s not an “NBA 29 year old” in terms of the wear and tear on his body. And he had like his colon removed it’s not like he has bad knees or weak ankles. I think if that medical stuff is behind him he can play on this level. There are plenty of tweeners that have found a place in the NBA. No one would be asking him to come in and be a star.

  • shutup

    Funny thing is I heard a lot of his problems started happening because of smush parker, I know smush isnt the most liked player on this site, but rumor is smush would be killing him in practice and and he wouldnt take it very well, I think he couldnt adjust to the fact that he wasn’t “the man” . I guess it can be hard when your head and shoulders above your comp then you get to the level that everybody can really play, some people dont recover from it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    what wayno and boing said. and i’m rooting for this guy

  • bike

    Dajuan said it best: ‘No one’s ever had the problems I’ve had and come back.’. It would be a great story, but it won’t happen. He tried a comeback in 2006 and it didn’t happen. He wasn’t anything but a mediocre nba player at the high point of his career. I don’t understand why he isn’t playing in Europe anyway.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Sorry but scoring 100 pts in HS doesn’t make you a special talent in any league, talent+hard-work does.

  • Ngoie Kafita

    Go make that league money, Juanny!

  • http://www.andywhitby.com Andy Whitby

    I disagree JTaylor, scoring 100 in a HS game does make you a talent in the High School league…and big for going forward into college. Your reply didn’t really add to this thread either – please reply again but with more thoughts on the return of this player.

  • Hart26

    Hope to see a comeback from this guy

  • http://slamonline.com YKnoT

    Best of luck to Juanny. He had one of the most unreal workout schedules I’ve ever seen even in high school! Props to enigmatic for the D.Wash reference. Once he cooked Telfair on ESPN high school night I thought he was a lock to stay in the L. Oh well.

  • justin

    @YKnoT – nah he didn’t “cook” him. Bassy got hurt and came back. Stop it dude! DWash’s dad was his problem

  • ab40

    link doesn’t work.

  • homie

    didnt he get colon cancer?

  • amare jonez

    Ima female. Baller. And I remember going to train @ the collisieum in bothers n juanny. Being there working out. That was awhile. Ago fuzzy I’m 23 now n colliseum closed. Dwn but I wish him all the best in his comeback. Goals

  • amare jonez

    Ima female. Baller. And I remember going to the collisieum in vorhees and juanny would be there working out. That was awhile. Ago lI’m 23 now n colliseum closed. Dwn bI wish lhim all the best in his comeback. Goals

  • Mike

    Juanny ain’t trying for a comeback and never was. He got homesick and just doesn’t want to leave the hood alone. He wants to hang with his boys, go to bars, shoot pool, party, etc. what a fu–ing shame. I know this kid. Kicked it with his fam in Camden. I can’t believe he made this choice. Ladies and gents it has nothing to do with his health or loss of talent. This jackass just wants to throw away the dream of a city to hand with his home it’s. SMDH!

  • Mike

    Juanny ain’t trying for a comeback and never was. He got homesick and just doesn’t want to leave the hood alone. He wants to hang with his boys, go to bars, shoot pool, party, etc. what a fu–ing shame. I know this kid. Kicked it with his fam in Camden. I can’t believe he made this choice. Ladies and gents it has nothing to do with his health or loss of talent. This jackass just wants to throw away the dream of a city to hang with his homies. SMDH!

Advertisement