Camden Boy’s Basketball star DJ Wagner will not get the opportunity to defend his team’s state title.

This is because of a melee situation that prompted game officials to cancel yesterday’s game between Camden High School and Eastside High School while the game was in progress.

The melee brought players, coaches, and spectators onto the court.

Officials cleared the gymnasium with 4 minutes and 23 seconds left in the second quarter. Camden led 30-17 at the time that officials cancelled the game.

The Camden Superintendent of Public Schools, Katrina McCombs didn’t wait for the NJSIAA to act, pulling both the Camden and Eastside High School boys basketball teams from the upcoming NJSIAA Tournament because of a fight that took place yesterday at the Camden County Tournament championship game.

Camden was seeded 2nd in the South Jersey Group 2 NJSIAA tournament. Despite being seeded second, they were prohibitive favorites to repeat as state champions. They have been ranked number one in the state of New Jersey for the entire season.

Wagner now abruptly ends a storied high school career that has already landed him to the University of Kentucky.

DJ Wagner is the son and grandson of two of the greatest basketball players in Camden High School history … he’s the son of Dajuan Wagner and the grandson of Milt Wagner.

DJ Wagner finishes his career with 2,040 points. Only 42 people in New Jersey history have scored more than 2,000 points. Wagner’s Father and Grandfather are both in the exclusive club, too.

Because McCombs removed both teams from the tournament, we’ll never know if one or both teams would have been declared ineligible by the NJSIAA.

The Camden Courier Post obtained a comment from McCombs, as follows:

"This initiative is being taken to ensure that our scholar-athletes know that accountability for their actions is paramount not only in basketball but also in the larger game of life," the statement read. "In short, the district and the students fully understand the infractions that took place at last night's game,” said McCombs.

NJSIAA rules clearly states that:

“Any varsity team accumulating three (3) or more player or coach disqualifications prior to the start of the tournament will not be permitted to participate in the state tournament. Seeded teams will forfeit their right to compete if a disqualification limit is reached prior to the start of the tournament for the team."

Game officials … I used to be one … are required to prepare and submit a report to their assigner. The assigner then sends the report to the NJSIAA for review.

The game officials have a very tough job and must decide how many ejections they intend to issue. With fighting and so many people coming onto the court … they have a lot to sort through here.

I cannot confirm what action the NJSIAA may have taken had the Superintendent not acted first. However, from a wide spectrum of observation, my experience tells me that one or both teams would have been declared ineligible for the upcoming NJSIAA state tournament.

This, as you can imagine is heartbreaking for the players, coaches, parents and fans of these two high school teams … who were both capable of winning state championships this year.

Eastside was seeded 2nd in the South Jersey Group 3 NJSIAA state tournament.

SOURCES: Multiple Athletic Directors and Camden Courier Post.

Great New Jersey Stores That We Once Loved That Are Now Closed

What Are These Atlantic & Cape May, NJ Communities Best Known For?


More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM