Fists Fly As One Of The Best In The Nation Loses In The Worst Way … Camden High Has Come And Gone

A Thursday night game between Camden High School basketball and Eastside High School basketball ended under unfortunate circumstances with some of the nation’s top players possibly ending their high school careers on very sour notes.

With just 4:23 left in the second quarter of the Camden County Tournament Championship, punches began flying after Camden High’s Cornelius Robinson got into a physical altercation with Eastside’s Titus Bacon. After Robinson, a senior who will be playing for Albany next year, threw a punch at Bacon, senior and Kentucky signee DJ Wagner charged at Bacon, attempting to throw punches at him. 

Wagner, who is also ranked No. 2 in the nation had to be held back by teammates, including No. 4-ranked Aaron Bradshaw (who will also be playing for Kentucky next year). 

Camden High School star DJ Wagner (with ball). (Photo: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty)

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

Following that exchange of events, all hell broke loose in the Cherry Hill East High School gym. Teams cleared the benches, as did the parents and spectators of the championship game. The court was soon flooded, and it took a while for everything to be calmed down and for players to be separated. 

After everything was cleared, officials announced that the game would not be finished. Furthermore due to NJSIAA (New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletics Association), “Any coach/player disqualified before, during or after an interscholastic event for unsportsmanlike flagrant verbal or physical misconduct will be disqualified from the next two (2) regularly scheduled games/meets, with the exception of football which will carry a one (1) game disqualification, at that level of competition and all other game(s) meet(s) in the interim at any level in addition to any other penalties which the NJSIAA or a league/conference may assess. Such disqualification prevents a coach/player from being present at the site.” 

In other words, Camden High, the defending NJSIAA Group 2 Champion, will be disqualified from state tournament play and will not be able to defend its title. 

Unfortunately, this means that D.J. Wagner and Aaron Bradshaw will be ending their final high school year on a low note. Not being able to defend the first title brought to Camden High by them in 22 years, and knowing they can’t return next year to try to regain it will be a tough pill to swallow for the future Kentucky Wildcats. 

Cooler Heads Wanted

To add insult to injury, Camden was beating Eastside 30-17 before tempers got the best of these young men. Now we’ll never know how that game would’ve ended for either team involved.

Camden finished their season 23-2. They are ranked No. 7 among ESPN’s top 25 high school programs across the country. 

Ironically enough, earlier that day, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Isabella DiAmore, Wagner was named as a finalist for the Naismith High School Boys Player of the Year Award, one of five finalists for the award. 

He most likely will not be winning this award now.

This will no doubt bring into question how Wagner and Bradshaw, and frankly any other high-profile players from this contest, are viewed moving forward in their careers. 

A very unfortunate ending for one of the nation’s top high school teams and some of its players.

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