COVINGTON, Ga. — It’s not just the Georgia football program getting in on all the five-star recruiting action.
Ashton Hagans, Newton High’s junior five-star point guard prospect took to Twitter video style to share his commitment to UGA basketball.
The consensus top-ranked point guard in the nation for the class of 2019 literally had his pick of the liter in terms of where he could’ve gone to school. With 32 Division I and Power Five offers from schools such as North Carolina, Kansas, Florida State and Auburn, Hagans decided to take his ample talent to the place that first showed him love.
“I mean, they’ve stayed with me since the beginning,” Hagans said. “Georgia was the very first offer I got, and they’ve stayed with me since the beginning. So I figured I might as well stay home. My mom stays close. My dad lives like 40 minutes away. Georgia just felt like home to me.”
UGA coach Mark Fox was, indeed, the first to get on Hagans’ offer list. In turn, Hagans became Fox’s first five-star commit since being at the helm of the Bulldogs’ program. Hagans said the relationship built with Fox over the last couple of years was a huge reason for his decision.
“We’ve had a lot of conversations,” Hagans said. “We talk after the games, and he’ll ask me what did I see out on the court. And it would be him, me and my dad and we’d just go over the whole game that I played and just talk about those things.”
Fox had apparently connected with Hagans well enough to inspire the 6-foot-4 floor general to believe he can help craft something great on the hardwood in Athens.
“It was really a couple of days ago that I made the decision,” Hagans said. “I wouldn’t say I’m trying to build my own legacy. But I want to be able to help out what’s already happening there. They haven’t had a great guard in a minute, so I’m sure there’s some good changes I can help make at UGA and make it something everybody will remember. Now it’s time to show everybody.”
With such a high pressure decision behind him, Hagans said he’s ready to focus more on helping a young Newton Rams squad continue to improve.
“All the recruiting stuff, I mean it feels good, but (making the decision) took a lot of stress off of me, and I can now focus more on the season with my teammates.”
Newton basketball coach, Rick Rasmussen expressed pleasure and pride at his star’s in-state pledge.
“We wish him all the best with it,” Rasmussen said. “We know he’ll do great things at the next level and beyond.”
Now, Hagans is ready to show that next-level greatness continues to run in his family. He cited his cousin, Trey Thompkins, a former star at the Wesleyan School in Norcross and a standout at prestigious Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.
After spending his first couple of seasons in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers, Thompkins, a former All-SEC selection while playing at Georgia, now plays professionally overseas with Real Madrid. And Hagans says he isn’t shy about trying to follow in those footsteps.
“Like I said, Georgia was the first to show me love, and the first to offer,” Hagans said. “And with my cousin Trey having been there, I want to be the next one to show everybody that the Hagans are the real deal.”
Hagans is the third Newton High athlete in the last year to commit to Georgia. Former Newton football star, J.J. Holloman enrolled as a freshman wide receiver at UGA back in January, and just last month, Newton track star, Elija Godwin pledged to the Dawgs as well.