WAGNER SEEKING BREAKTHROUGH FINISH
by WALTER VILLA
Maybe this is the season.
The Wagner Thunderbirds have won at least 29
games four times in the past 10 years, but they
have yet to win their first state championship.
Wagner finished 29-7 last season, losing 58-57 to
Westlake in the regional quarterfinals.
Jalen Jackson, a 5-10 point guard who will be a
senior this season, had a game-high 28 points in the
loss to Westlake.
“It hurts,” Jackson told the media immediately following
the loss. “It was fun playing with my teammates
this season, and we wanted to keep it going.
But Westlake was the better team tonight. They
made more plays.”
Jackson, who has committed to North Texas,
banked in a three-point shot to cut Westlake’s lead
to one point. But the Thunderbirds ran out of time,
and Jackson’s 60-foot desperation shot at the buzzer
Wagner, which is coached by Rodney Clark, surely
missed 6-6 shooting guard Kevin McCullar, who
had suffered a season-ending injury earlier in the
“He would’ve helped on the defensive end, with
rebounding and with scoring,” Jackson said.
McCullar, who will be a senior this season, has committed
to Texas Tech. But he has also transferred
and will likely rehab his injury and skip his senior
Similarly, 5-10 senior point guard Jelen Hanspard
tore his Achilles tendon this past summer and
transferred out of Wagner.
In addition, DaRaun Clark graduated after averaging
12.2 points, 3.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds last
season. The 6-4 shooting guard was a three-year
team captain at Wagner, and he made first-team
all-district in his last two years with the Thunderbirds.
Another change this season is that Wagner has
dipped down from Class 6A to 5A.
Meanwhile, Braelon Seals, a 6-2 junior with explosive
leaping ability, joined Jackson in the Wagner
backcourt this summer and looked good.
Jasean Jackson, Jalen’s younger brother, is a 5-9
sophomore guard who was moved up to varsity at
the end of last season. Journee Phillips, a 6-1 junior,
and Ohio transfer Isaiah Kennedy are two more
players to watch.
Terence “Boo Man” Jackson, who is the father of
Jalen and Jasean and is also the coach of the Hard
Work AAU team, saw most of the Wagner players
compete this past summer.
“Kennedy is 5-foot-11, but he is built like a fullback,”
Coach Jackson said. “He is going to help.
12 • SAN ANTONIO HIGH SCHOOLS BASKETBALL YEARBOOK