- Dajuan Wagner
In 2000-01, Dajuan Wagner averaged 42.5 points per game in his final year of high school. He then went to the University of Memphis, and averaged a whopping 21.1ppg as a freshman. This was enough to get him drafted 6th overall by the Cavaliers in the 2002 draft.
Since then, it's been all bad. Wagner averaged 13.4 points and 2.8 assists per game as a freshman, but took 605 shots to score those 629 points, and played in only 47 games due to torn right knee cartilage. Worse still, that was the most games he played in any season of his career. Wagner played in only 44 games the following year, and his scoring halved to only 6.5 ppg on similar efficiency. Wagner needed further surgery on his right knee, but he couldn't get it until inflammation to his liver and pancreas had calmed down; what we didn't initially know was that that internal inflammation was more serious, and would lead to chronic and irreversible health problems.
Wagner played only 11 games the following year, averaging 4.0 ppg, a shell of his former self. The knee had improved, but his intestines had now swollen up, and he was hospitalised with ulcerative colitis in January 2005. The colitis was severe, not responsive to medication, and became life-threatning; supposedly, Wagner lost roughly 75lbs. Eventually, Wagner had to have his entire colon removed. He missed the whole 2005-06 season.
In a feel-good story, Wagner got as healthy as he could and into the best shape that he could, and returned to the NBA in 2006-07 with the Golden State Warriors. In his first game for the team, on November 11th 2006, Wagner entered the game for the final few minutes of a Warriors's 32 point blowout win over Detroit. And I watched it. Entering those final few minutes of the game, Wagner took his first and only shot, a corner three pointer. He made it, and smiled broadly. Wagner knew that protocol dictates that you should always act like you've been there, but after everything that had happened, he didn't want to. So he didn't. It was a good moment and remains a good memory.
Unfortunately, it was also his only basket of the season. Wagner played only one game for Golden State before they bought him out in late November. Ostensibly, it's because Wagner wasn't going to get any playing time, but in reality, Wagner wasn't ready. He hadn't had a chance to develop his skills as a player, and, with the injuries and illnesses stealing the athleticism that defined his game, there wasn't a whole lot left for Wagner to contribute. He has not played in the NBA since. In fact, he's played only one since then, when he signed for Polish team Prokom Sopot in the 2007-08 season. In 6 Euroleague games, Wagner averaged 8.2 ppg, but was released due to a bad ankle. He has not played since.
Dajuan Wagner news since that time is impossible to find. It's been over two years since he left Poland, and when a rumoured move to Maccabi Tel-Aviv faield to materialize, that ended Dajuan Wagner basketball news. He worked out for a while with Tim Grover, but now appears to be done with the game, and is back living in his native Camden, New Jersey. Rumour has it that he owns a restaurant there, but this cannot be substantiated.