Moritz Wagner is blossoming into an international basketball sensation. The native of Germany has found a home in Ann Arbor and is a standout for the Maize and Blue. Wagner is also on the radar of NBA scouts.
The 6-foot-11 forward moved to the U.S. in 2015 and quickly transitioned to life as a student-athlete. He started all 38 games of his sophomore season in 2016-17 and has continued his success as an upperclassman.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wagner Was Born In Berlin
Moritz was born April 26, 1997 in Berlin, Germany. His parents are
Beate Wagner and Axel Schulz. According to his Michigan bio, his name is pronounced MORE-rhet’z VOG-ner”.
Wagner enjoyed a prestigious basketball career at the prep level in Germany and helped lead Alba Berlin to the NBBL German Championship in 2014. One of Wagner’s basketball role models is fellow German and NBA star Dirk Nowitzki. On Feb. 15, 2017, Wagner posted a picture on Instagram posing with Nowkitzki. The caption read: “A lot of buckets in one pic man. Glad to bring about 1% of em to the table.” At least Moe has a good sense of humor.
2. His Career Has Blossomed at Michigan
Wagner averaged just over eight minutes per game as a freshman during the 2015-16 season as he adjusted to life in the NCAA. He made great strides during his sophomore season in 2016-17, starting all 38 games and averaging over 12 points and four rebounds per game while shooting 56 percent from the field and 39.5 from three-point range.
Wagner capped off his sophomore campaign in style, helping the Maize and Blue win the Big 10 Tournament and reach the Sweet 16, upsetting No. 2 seed Louisville in the round of 32. Wagner and the Wolverines successfully defended their Big 10 Tournament title in 2018.
3. Wagner Has A Chance To Play At The Next Level
He was listed No. 56 in the most recent ESPN NBA Draft rankings which means Wagner might have a tough decision to make on whether or not he should go pro at the end of his junior season. It wouldn’t be the first time Wagner has thrown his name into the NBA mix. Following his sophomore campaign in Ann Arbor, he entered in his name for the 2017 NBA Draft. After not being satisfied with the response he got from team, Wagner decided to return for his junior season at Michigan.
Wagner recently got some positive feedback from NBA scouts about his chances of making it at the next level. “He’s exciting,” former Wolverine and NBA star Glen Rice, who is now a scout for the Miami Heat, told MLive. “When you look at how the game has evolved, being able to have ball handling, shooting ability — for him to be able to do what he does is special. It makes it a whole lot easier for him to continue to keep moving up the ladder and being able to reach out and be that much closer to his dream.”
4. He Has A Mystery Girlfriend
Wagner has posted a couple of pictures on Instagram with her. One of the captions read: “Happy Birthday to this beautiful girl.” There is no confirmation that the two are an official couple, but it certainly appears they are an item.
5. Wagner’s Mom Helped The Wolverines Win The Big 10 Tourney
In March 2018, Wagner’s mother Beate traveled across the Atlantic to New York City to watch her son play in the Big 10 Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Michigan’s head coach Jon Beilein took notice and credited Beate with providing the team with an extra spark.
“Guys, Moe’s mother came all the way from Germany,” Beilein told reporters. “We can’t be going home in one day.” Beilein went on to compliment Wagner’s family and the connection they have to the program.