By Andrew Reever
FROM a high school basketball star to a York College 1,000 point score for the York College men’s basketball team, Jared Wagner is living his dream.
Growing up, he played many sports from basketball to baseball, swimming, and soccer for the YMCA.
Wagner started off very competitive at a young age as he had to play up a year above him to play in the basketball league as a kid. Begging his mom to play, she let him play up in age and that is what got Jared to have a competitive mindset. After giving up baseball in high school, all gears shifted in focus to basketball. Jared played locally at Central York High School for the Panthers and took off from there knowing he wanted to play basketball.
Scoring over 1,000 points and playing at the Giant Center in Hershey led to his journey to York College. Playing as a freshman here has led to his success through the rest of his basketball career at York College by ending his career with 1,505 points, becoming the ninth player in school history to score more than 1,000.
He also became 10th in school history for rebounds, ending with 559, second in assists at 554, and first in school history with 288 steals. He also became first in school history at 115 games played.
“He is incredibly hard-working and motivated so he sets a really good tone that way for our organization,” head coach Matthew Hunter said. “Jared is just a competitor on another plane from most human beings. He is a great student, a great role model, and a ferocious competitor in which we want to embody as a program. He’s great with skill development and working with our guards and perimeter players to develop their skill.”
To attest to this, senior guard Sean Kelly added, “When we were teammates, coach Wagner showed me what it took to be a college basketball player. The work I had to put in to see the court and be a successful player. He helped teach me what it meant to be a leader. Coach Wagner always led by example.”
Kelly said that Wagner “always gave us more confidence and lit a fire in us. We all knew the competitor he was as a player and it is what makes him a really good coach.”
Asked about the experiences he will take from Wagner, Kelly said: “I just think of the way he approached every game, every practice, every Thursday night pick-up is what made him a great player. There was no detail too small for him and everything mattered. A trait that will make him a great head coach one day.”
Wagner continues to coach AAU basketball and assist Hunter. He continues his dream and wants to grow from here to expand his knowledge as a coach. As he coaches basketball players, he tells them, “You have to earn the right to be successful.” That’s a valuable quote for those who want to succeed, even if it’s not in basketball and more so in life.
Said Hunter of Wagner, “Continue developing relationships, create opportunities, take advice from college coaches and head coaches. He is doing great as a coach now from the AAU and assistant coaching for York College.”
Wagner is hopeful of getting a head coaching job at a Division I school some day and then go from there.
He said that he has lived by a quote since his sophomore year in college after realizing that in life you are going to fail. He follows the quote from the book “Inner Game of Tennis” and he shares this quote with those he coaches or that need that motivation: “Letting go of Judgments, the art of creating images and “letting it happen” are three of the basic skills involved in the Inner Game.”
Andrew Reever is a junior who is majoring in Sport Management.
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