Top basketball prospect commits to Kentucky

- Josh Friedman

DJ Wagner is headed to Kentucky. The Camden High School senior, ESPN’s No. 1 ranked recruit in the Class of 2023 and a consensus five-star prospect, announced on Monday that he’s joining the Wildcats.

He’ll play for head coach John Calipari, who coached DJ’s father, Dajuan, at the University of Memphis.

Wagner picked Kentucky over Louisville, where his grandfathe­r Milt Wagner is the program’s director of player developmen­t and alumni relations.

Wagner has many other connection­s to Kentucky.

His brother Kareem Watkins and former Panther teammate Lance Ware are both on the roster, and current Camden running mate and fellow five-star recruit Aaron Bradshaw committed in October. Bradshaw is the No. 5 prospect in the country, per ESPN.

The Wildcats have now signed four of the top eight players in the class, according to ESPN, with Justin Edwards (Imhotep, Philadelph­ia; No. 2) and Robert Dillingham (Overtime Elite, Atlanta; No. 8) rounding out the quartet.

Wagner, the twotime Gatorade New Jersey and Courier Post Player of the Year, averaged 19.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 3.1 assists last season as he led Camden to its first state title since 2000 and a runner-up finish in the Tournament of Champions.

The Panthers are loaded up to repeat with All-South Jersey First Team selections Wagner, Bradshaw and Cian Medley (St. Louis recruit) back, as well as Third Team honorees Dasear Haskins and Overbrook transfer Jaylan Hornsby, plus Cornelius Robinson (Albany) and several others high-quality players.

Wagner, Bradshaw, Medley and Robinson will have a group signing ceremony on Wednesday.

The only question for Camden remains the head coach. Rick Brunson, who led the program to a 73-4 record the last three winters, stepped down in June so he could take a position with the New York Knicks, and the school has yet to announce his replacemen­t.

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