Franz Wagner signs with Michigan for upcoming season
Guard Franz Wagner will be joining the University of Michigan starting this upcoming year. The 17-year-old was on a dual-contract with Alba Berlin and SSV lok Bernau Alba this past year, deciding between staying overseas and coming to play in the NCAA.
In the end, he chose the latter, following the footsteps of his older brother and former Michigan forward Moritz Wagner.
Wagner announced his decision on Saturday via Instagram.
This will be second commitment the Michigan basketball team has secured since the hiring of head coach Juwan Howard. He was able to keep wing Cole Bajema — who had initially committed while John Beilein was head coach — which leaves the Wolverines with two more scholarship openings for the 2019-2020 college basketball season. Wagner did make an official visit to Michigan the day after Beilein's departure, and assistant coach Saddi Washington is the only coach still on staff since that day.
"We are extremely excited to announce Franz has committed to join the University of Michigan in the fall," Howard said. "Franz gives us another talented guard with size who possesses a wonderful basketball IQ and a growing skillset that could be impactful for us right away."
Unlike Bajema who is already practicing with the team, Wagner will not arrive on campus to practice until the fall as he’s scheduled to play for Germany in the 2019 under-18 European Championships in Greece through August 4th.
Wagner boasted a high shot percentage, making 52.9 percent of his shots over 35 games for Alba Berlin while shooting 50 percent from the field in nine games for SSV lok Bernau Alba last year. He primarily came off of the bench, though, starting only six games for each team. Wagner was awarded 2018-2019 Basketball Bundesliga Best Young Player Award for his efforts in the BBL finals, where Alba Berlin finished as runner-up.
Many thought that Howard had possibly violated an NCAA rule as he mentioned Wagner’s name on a radio talk show earlier in the week. However, sources told The Daily that Howard did not commit any NCAA violations in the process of recruiting Wagner.
This story is developing and will be updated as The Daily learns more information. Additional reporting was done by Ethan Sears.