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DJ Wagner updates recruitment; leaning on Kareem Watkins with college decision

The top player in the class of 2023 has strong ties to the Kentucky program.


DJ Wagner is a name that Kentucky Wildcats fans know quite well.

The class of 2023 No. 1 overall recruit has long been seen as a UK lean, mostly due to his father becoming a top-10draft pick under John Calipari as a player at Memphis. That connection is strong, but it might be the relationship with his big brother, Kareem Watkins, that helps the Cats win out in the end.

Watkins, who is currently a walk-on at UK, is the stepbrother of Wagner.

And according to him, Watkins will play a big part as Wagner makes a decision about his basketball future.

Wagner spoke with Jack Pilgrim of KSR here recently, and here is what he had to say about how their relationship will impact his decision:

“That’s my brother, that’s my blood brother,” DJ Wagner told Pilgrim. “The connection is great. We’re like this [crossed fingers], we’re best friends. That’s my blood brother, our connection is great.”

Being the No. 1 player in the class also means a ton of eyes are on your decision. When speaking with Pilgrim Wagner pointed to Kentucky, Villanova, LSU, and Memphis as schools he hears from. He also mentioned to him that he has taken official visits taken to Kentucky and Memphis and unofficial visits taken to Villanova and Temple.

With the high school season now in full swing, Wagner talked about how he will talk with and lean on his brother when the time comes for his recruitment to pick back up, and make a decision.

“Most definitely (I lean on him), that’s my older brother,” Wagner told Pilgrim. “He tells me to just do what I want, do what I love to do. Right now, I don’t really have a focus on where I’m going or any of that stuff. I’m just focused on high school.”

Wagner continued: “He tells me just like everyone else tells me, go where I want to go and where I think is best for me. He wants me to go to a place I love.”

On top of the connection with his father and his stepbrother, the ties to the Wagner family and Calipari run much deeper. It has been widely expected that DJ will ultimately end up in Lexington, and with these quotes it seems to becoming more and more likely.

Be sure to read the full KSR interview.

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