Hagans wins Mr. Georgia BasketballWatch as Ashton Hagans and Newton coach Rick Rasmussen talk about Hagans' prestigious award.
COVINGTON, Ga. — When Ashton Hagans sat down with his father before his junior season to discuss goals, the 6-foot-4 5-star point guard prospect took out a pad and pencil and started a list.
Win a region championship. Win a state championship. Improve upon stats averages from his sophomore season. Become a better leader. All of those were on his list, but so too was “win the Mr. Georgia Basketball” award.
Hagans achieved just that Thursday morning when the Atlanta Tip-Off Club — the same group responsible for picking the Naismith All-American teams — revealed that it had chosen Hagans to receive the prestigious Mr. Georgia Basketball award. Hagans is the first player in Newton program history to receive such recognition.
It was enough to warrant a celebration, as members of the basketball team and some of Hagans’ family gathered at Newton High for light refreshments after the news was revealed at 10 a.m. on the Tip-Off Club’s website and Twitter page.
In addition, Newton Lady Rams senior guard Lexii Chatman garnered third team honors, while Lady Rams coach Tiffani Johnson was named the Cremins Girls’ Coach of the Year. Johnson coached Newton its first region crown in five years and its first state championship game appearance since the 1963 season.
As for Hagans, he's the first junior to win the coveted award since former Wheeler star Shareef Abdur Raheem won it in 1994, and then again in 1995, during his senior season.
“It’s exciting that he’s the first player at Newton to do it,” Rasmussen said. “And just without our team success it wouldn’t have been possible for this to happen.”
Hagans helped push Newton to the Class AAAAAAA Final Four in this year’s state tournament, despite playing with four new starters around him. The Rams finished with a 27-4 overall record and also took home the Region 8-AAAAAAA championship for the second straight season.
Make sure to watch the above video to catch the full reaction from both Hagans and Rasmussen.