Ahmad Wagner of Wayne High School ended his recruitment on Sunday by verbally committing to play basketball at the University of Iowa. He’s the second Warriors senior to verbally commit to the next level and there could be a third.
Wagner said he huddled with his coaches and parents about the decision.
“We all discussed it and decided that Iowa was the best fit for me,” he said on Monday. “I’m good with Iowa. I wanted to make my dream a reality and go to college to play basketball.”
Wagner, a 6-foot-7 forward, was a big reason why Wayne (21-5) won the Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division last season and advanced to the Division I regional semifinals.
A rugged rebounder who excels in running the floor, he’s a rare four-year starter for the Warriors. He led Wayne in scoring (13.7 points), rebounding (9.9) and blocks (3.3) as a junior.
He had a high game of 26 points in the opener against Sidney. Wayne lost to Trotwood-Madison in the D-I regional semifinals at Xavier University on a last-second shot. Wagner had a game-high 23 rebounds in the stunning setback.
Wagner said he also had offers from Iowa, Bucknell, Kent State, Miami and Minnesota. He visited the Iowa City campus last weekend.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery initially made an offer to Wagner last spring. The Hawkeyes were 20-13 overall last season, 9-9 in the Big Ten and lost to Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Wagner played for the AAU team All Ohio Red this summer.
Xeyrius Williams, also a Wayne senior and like Wagner also 6-7, previously committed to Dayton and Flyers coach Archie Miller. Williams will be a two-year starter and averaged 12.1 points and 9.8 rebounds as a junior.
Wayne head coach Travis Trice said UD initially recruited both Williams and Wagner.
“They’re two very high character and high quality guys,” said Trice, who said both own near 3.7 GPA’s. “I’m excited for both of them and their futures in college.”
D’Mitrik Trice, the senior son of Travis Trice, has offers from Ohio Division I programs Akron, Cleveland State, Miami and Toledo. But the 5-11 guard might opt to play basketball in the non-athletic scholarship Ivy League or pursue football. D’Mitrik Trice also is Wayne’s starting quarterback and led the Warriors to an 11-2 season last year.
The trio will be the nucleus of what should be a memorable senior season.
“We’re looking to win state,” Wagner said. “We’re trying to make history at Wayne.”