Three-time, first-team all-state point guard Jacob Hagler will continue his basketball career at Jamestown College next fall. The North Star senior will sign with the NAIA school today.
"I toured a few colleges and it just seemed like it was the right fit," said Hagler, the Mr. Basketball runner-up. "I like the education aspect, the coach, the system and I thought that was the place I should be."
Hagler led the Bearcats - coached by his father Jeff - to three Class B state tournaments in his five years on varsity and North Star won the title in 2011. Hagler appeared in five region title games and was named the Class B state senior athlete of the year in March. He scored more than 2,200 career points, had a 122-8 record and averaged 22.8 points, 6.8 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 3.6 steals as a senior.
"He's gonna be a really smart player for us," JC coach Justin Wieck said. "He's got a high basketball IQ, he's been able to score the basketball at a high level and he knows how to get others involved."
Hagler drew interest from NCAA Division I North Dakota State earlier in his career and was invited as a walk-on. He said the Bison contacted his father earlier this past season, but that the program did not contact him directly during his senior campaign.
The 6-foot-2 scorer chose Jamestown over Valley City State, Bemidji State (Minn.), Lake Region State College and other junior colleges.
Hagler expects to contribute as a freshman, but will likely be a reserve guard for the second-year coach. The Jimmies are coming off two straight NAIA national tournament appearances and junior guard Mark Hoge was named to the NAIA Division II All-American second team this year.
"He wants to come here and wants to have a great career here and help us at a very high level," Wieck said.
Despite garnering interest from NCAA schools, Hagler intends to play his entire college career in the Buffalo City.
"I like that style of play and they've been winning," Hagler said. "They made it to nationals the last two years. ... I'm comfortable playing at Jamestown my whole career, make it the four years and get my education. I guess if (another) opportunity presented itself, maybe. I haven't really thought about it. You never know what tomorrow will bring."
Hagler plans to study education. His parents are JC graduates.