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Memphis’ Wagner to Enter NBA Draft

April 18, 2002

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Freshman guard Dajuan Wagner, who led Memphis to the NIT championship last month, said Wednesday he will make himself eligible for the NBA draft.

``This was a difficult decision; however my lifelong dream has been to play in the NBA and I am anxious to begin my professional basketball career,″ Wagner said. ``I am going to continue to attend classes and finish the semester, as I promised my mother that I would get my degree.″

The 6-foot-3 Wagner averaged 21.2 points and shot 41 percent from the field this season. He also averaged 3.6 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Wagner was selected the MVP of the NIT, Memphis’ first postseason basketball championship.

Tigers coach John Calipari said he hates to see Wagner go, but supports him.

``I agreed with Dajuan and his family,″ Calipari said. ``Looking at all the factors involved, this is the time for this young man to take on all the challenges of the NBA. It was a wonderful experience coaching Dajuan.″

Wagner, a projected lottery pick in the draft, was a high school sensation in Camden, N.J., averaging over 40 points and scoring 100 in a game as a senior.

He is the son of Milt Wagner, who played for Louisville’s 1986 national championship team and then for the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. Milt Wagner is an assistant on Calipari’s staff.

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