If only social media was around on January 16th of 2001. That’s the day “The Messiah” of New Jersey, Dajuan Wagner, scored more than double his ridiculous 43-point scoring average and dropped 100 points in a single game. A game that saw the 18-year-old hoop phenom sit out the final four minutes of a 157-67 victory over Gloucester Township.
“He didn’t go for it,” Wagner said about the coach not letting him play the entire game. “There were four minutes left in the game when I got 100, so I was trying to get him to let me go for 120. But he shut me down. I still talk trash to him about that today.”
As much as the city celebrated the accomplishment and beatdown, much of the local media criticized Wagner and the team. But, it didn’t seem to bother all of the opponents.
“We were all laughing about it, except Coach,” says Brandon Sunkett, a Gloucester Tech player. “You know Dajuan’s gonna score; what you don’t know is how. So you might as well enjoy watching it.”
If only social media was around to weigh in on the topic and to talk about what the high school senior did after his historic game: dinner with Superbowl champs Ray Lewis and Jessie Armstead. As huge as this sounds for a prep player to be hanging with pros like Lewis, it wasn’t that big of a deal for Wagner, who counts Allen Iverson as one of his many celebrity friends.
So what did the “Next Iverson” do for an encore? He ONLY scored 54 points in a nine-point victory!
So what happened after the magical season, which landed Wagner on the cover of Sports Illustrated? He had his scholarship revoked by John Calipari, was drafted 6th by the Cavs, had a disappointing rookie season, then battled a long list of injuries — ankles, knees to his liver, pancreas and bladder — during his short pro career in Cleveland, Golden State and overseas.
For the next decade, we would occasionally hear a story about a possible comeback or a video from a random league — nothing too buzz-worthy.
But today, 14 years after his historic 100-point night, we finally have video footage of the game to watch (Thanks to Nils Wagner). And thankfully, since we now have social media, we can all share the greatness of “The Messiah” from Camden High.
“It’s an accomplishment, scoring 100 points,” Wagner said to Complex. “A lot of people can’t score 100 points shooting around by themselves.”