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Hagans presented Player of the Year award
Ashton Hagans (left) and his dad, Marvin Hagans (right) with Ashton's Born to Compete Player of the Year award.

Zip line Adventure

By: Darrell Everidge

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Born to compete player of the year Ashton Hagans was presented his award Friday morning at Clements Middle School in front of his entire eighth grade class. With his impeccable year playing basketball, Hagans has gotten a lot of recognition, and although it’s deserved, deserve has nothing to do with it.

“We knew coming in what we had,” Tim Shaw, head coach of the undefeated Clements boys basketball team, said. “We knew we had a really good team, not just with Ashton. We had a good team with several other guys, but Ashton is special. He’s a hard worker, very skilled and talented. Coaching him was fun.”

Shaw says it would have been tough to coach against him, because that would require having a player of his ability to guard him and players with Hagans’s ability don’t grow on trees.

“He makes your job easy because he can do it all,” Shaw said. “He’s smart, a very intelligent player. He knows the game and he can make decisions for the guys on the floor without me having to tell him. He understands the game. It’s made my job fun and easy.”

Hagans is a willing passer, a fact cemented by his averages of 21 points, 10 assists and 10 steals this year. Marvin Hagans, Ashton’s father, says Ashton’s passing ability was something he saw in his son early in his basketball career and it’s also what makes him special.

“He’s great with his teammates. His teammates all love him and love to play with him because they know he shares the ball,” Shaw said. “If they’re open they’re going to get the basketball. He makes everybody around him better. Just playing against him in practice, some of our younger players, they had to get tougher because he’s a physical player.”

Despite his talents, Hagans is far from the ceiling he can reach. His potential is huge, but Shaw and Marvin Hagans both know Ashton is still growing (figuratively and literally) and maturing.

Ashton’s dad wants him to continue to get better in every aspect of his game, but he says Ashton’s defense is his biggest attribute.

“If a kid plays defense like he plays defense then the rest comes easy,” Marvin Hagans said.

The next step for Ashton is high school. He’ll attend Newton and we’ll continue to learn just how good he can be.

“Once he gets to high school, all the other kids try to be bigger and try to bully the younger kids so he’s just got to be prepared and be ready. If he keeps working like he’s been working lately he should be fine,” Marvin Hagans said.

Marvin believes the sky's the limit for Ashton. He says if he puts the work in everything else should fall in place.

Ashton is still just a teenager and he’s dealing with teenage things like taking out the trash and keeping his room clean – something Marvin says they’re still working on.

Winning the Born To Compete Player of the Year award was a goal Ashton set for himself before the season, a trait instilled in him by his father. Marvin preaches school and hard work to Ashton and he tells his son to set high goals and just see what happens. So far, so good.

“Ashton is extremely talented,” Natasha Hagans, Ashton’s stepmom, said. “He’s very skilled, he’s an awesome boy. Very playful, very playful, but still humble. I just want him to keep that under his belt. Always remain humble, always thank God for his blessings and just go as far as he can go with that.”