FORT MYERS, Fla. - Bishop Verot High School graduate Mark Wagner has signed to play basketball at LaGrange college in Georgia. But his road to signing day was a rough one.
Last September, after playing in a Nike Showcase event in St. Petersburg, Mark noticed some swelling in his right arm. Following an examination at Lee Memorial, Mark was diagnosed with a blood clot in his clavicle. Mark says a doctor at Health Park told him he would never play basketball again.
Mark and his family drove to Tampa General. While there, the Wagner's received a glimmer of hope. A doctor told him he may be able to play again, but only if he had surgery. Mark was afraid of having the procedure, but he says the thought of playing again helped give him the courage to go through with the procedure.
The original prognosis for Mark's return to the court was 3-6 months. But after each weekly checkup, the time for his return grew closer. Finally, on October 30th, he was cleared to return to play. He played well, too. In the team's first game against Fort Myers, he tied a career high with 27 points.
Though many schools backed off recruiting Mark following his surgery, a new group of schools started recruiting him. Eventually, he chose to play at Lagrange. Mark says he is blessed and he always kept a positive attitude, which helped him to fight through and pursue his dream of playing college basketball.