Camden's Dajuan Wagner still hears about his 100-point game in 2001

A banner in Camden's gym notes Dajuan Wagner's high school record. He went on to the University of Memphis and the NBA.
A banner in Camden's gym notes Dajuan Wagner's high school record. He went on to the University of Memphis and the NBA. (MARC NARDUCCI / Staff)
Posted: March 02, 2012

The story, not surprisingly, has taken a life of its own over the years. There was the sniping between the coaches and a halftime fight among players - but most of all it just added to the high school legend of Dajuan Wagner.

Wagner scored exactly 100 points for Camden High in a 157-67 win over visiting Camden County Tech on Jan. 16, 2001.

What was bizarre was that it wasn't even the highest individual scoring effort of the day. Cedric Hensley, of Heritage Christian Academy in Texas, dropped 101 points in a 178-29 rout of Houston's Baniff School on the same day.

Still, Wagner didn't need this performance to generate headlines. He was already considered the consensus No. 1 high school player in the country. He had made a commitment to attend the University of Memphis, where he would stay for a year before being the No. 6 overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Now 29, Wagner, who last appeared in an NBA game in 2007 for the Golden State Warriors, says he is hoping to make a comeback after suffering various health problems the last few years.

He looks in good shape and frequently attends Camden games. Wagner admits that rarely a week goes by when somebody doesn't mention that 100-point game to him.

"At the time I didn't think it was as big a deal - but, as the years go by, I realize how much interest there is in that game," Wagner said earlier this week.

The game began with a crowd of about 250 people, but as word about Wagner's exploits began spreading, fans started filing into to the gym after halftime.

"When it happened, the crowd went crazy," Wagner said.

What surprised Wagner the most was how much time remained after he scored the 100 points.

"There were still four minutes left," he said. "It was unbelievable."

Camden's coach at the time, Glen Jackson, was criticized for running up the score against an outmanned opponent.

Wagner had 25 points in the first quarter, 21 in the second and 26 in the third, giving him 72 for the game entering the fourth quarter.

Jackson said he was accused of orchestrating this from the beginning but says it wasn't until the start of the fourth quarter that he gave it real thought.

"[Wagner] never asked for anything," Jackson said. "He said, 'Can I do it?' For all he had done I felt he earned that. I told him I would give him two minutes and we would see."

And after two minutes of the fourth quarter?

"He had 90," Jackson said.

And there was a report that Jackson was involved in an altercation with one of his players at halftime. He said that is misinformation.

"Two of my players had a fight at halftime and I hit my head on the door breaking it up," Jackson said. "I know people said I was involved, but I was breaking it up."

Just another crazy sidelight to a wild day.

Wagner said what surprised him the most was his marksmanship from beyond the arc.

"I hit 10 threes that day," he said. "I was really feeling it."

For the game, Wagner shot 42 for 61 from the field, with the 10 treys. That meant he only made six foul shots.

"That whole week, Juanny was unbelievable, not only in games, but in practice," Jackson said. "In fact, he had a two-week stretch where he was on a tear."

When asked if he were tired after hoisting up so many shots, Wagner just laughed.

"When you are 17, 18 years old you aren't tired, especially from shooting," he said.

One person not so happy to be part of the historic game was Camden County Tech coach Rob Sweeney, who is still guiding the school's basketball team.

"I thought it was unsportsmanlike," Sweeney said this week, recalling the game. "They were pressing the whole game and I told Glen so."

Jackson says that wasn't the case.

"We played a halfcourt man-to-man, which is what we played all year long," he said.

Even after averaging 13.4 points per game for the Cleveland Cavaliers as a rookie in the 2002-03 season, which turned out to be his best, Wagner gets great delight when recalling his high-school days.

"Those were the funnest days of my life, playing [for Camden]," he said. "It was a great time."

For complete coverage of Wilt's 100-point game, click here.


Contact Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, or mnarducci@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @sjnard.

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