As a five-star recruit and Kentucky signee, DJ Wagner has plenty of basketball left ahead of him. Just not at the high school level. An on-court altercation between a pair of New Jersey powerhouses, Wagner's Camden squad and Eastside, caused their Camden County boys' basketball championship game on Thursday to be suspended. The Camden City School District later removed both teams from the NJSIAA state tournament, thus ending Wagner's illustrious high school career. Camden, the reigning NJSIAA Group 2 champion, was slated to open state tournament play Tuesday, but now will not get a chance to defend its title.
"We are disappointed to learn that this evening's Camden County Championship basketball game between Camden High School and Eastside High School has been suspended following an on-the-court altercation during the game," said Sheena Yera, senior communications director for the Camden City School District, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our students and fans. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. This incident is not an indication of who we are."
What many thought would be a memorable matchup featuring two Kentucky signees in Wagner and teammate Aaron Bradshaw, another five-star recruit, turned out to be memorable for a much darker reason. In the second quarter, Camden's Cornelius "Boog" Robinson and Eastside's Titus Bacon swung at each other, causing a brawl that involved both teams' players, coaches and the fans as well. Here's a look:
🏀🚨Here’s a different angle of the Camden vs. Eastside melee that stopped the game in the 2nd quarter. pic.twitter.com/Q23WvpJ22s— SJ SportsTalk (@sojerseysports) February 17, 2023
Both teams were eventually escorted to the locker room. Minutes later the game was called early with Camden leading 30-17.
Wagner will leave Camden as one of the school's greatest players ever, as he went 94-5, scored 2,040 career points and earned McDonald's All-American honors while playing for the squad. He's set to join a Kentucky team that ranks No. 1 in 247Sports' 2023 recruiting rankings, as he and Bradshaw are two of four five-star recruits who've committed to play for John Calipari next season.