Hagans joins 2018 UK freshman class

Published 10:50 pm Sunday, June 17, 2018

LEXINGTON (KT) — Ashton Hagans couldn’t wait to play for Kentucky and is expected to be on campus this week.

Hagans reclassified to the Class of 2018 and signed a financial aid agreement to play for the Wildcats. Hagans was scheduled to graduate next year, but opted to graduate high school earlier than expected to “see my dream of playing for coach (John) Calipari and the Big Blue Nation come true.”

“To follow the footsteps of all the great point guards that came before me is truly a blessing,” he said.

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Hagans will join five other newcomers on the roster, including Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, EJ Montgomery, Immanuel Quickley and walk-on Zan Payne, son of Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne. Five of the six signees are highly-rated prospects ranked in the four- and five-star range and considered among the Top 50 prospects by several recruiting outlets and services across the nation.

“Ashton wanted to be at Kentucky all along,” Calipari said. “When I found out how badly he wanted this and had a chance to see him play, I told our staff what a great fit he would be whether he chose to come to school this season or next. Ashton wanted this so much that he worked extremely hard in the classroom these last few months to finish up his high school requirements and graduate this past week. Now he comes here just a couple of weeks after the rest of our guys and is ready to join this group.”

Hagans, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard, averaged 20.2 points, 10.7 assists, 7.6 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game at Newton High School in Covington, Georgia and led his team to the Class 7A state semifinals. He was named Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball in Georgia last season.

“He can do a little bit of everything, but what separates him from his peers is his playmaking ability and leadership,” Calipari said. “You’re talking about someone who other people want to play with. I’m looking forward to seeing him get to work with the rest of our guys.”