WACO, Texas (KWTX) The Lady Bears picked up an oral commitment from the youngest prospect in program history this week after a top ranked middle school basketball player from San Antonio announced she plans to go to Baylor.
Samantha “Sammie” Wagner (right) with Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey. (Courtesy photo)
Samantha “Sammie” Wagner, 14, an eighth grader at Bush Middle School in San Antonio, announced her commitment to the Lady Bears on twitter Wednesday saying, “I’ve dreamed of this day since the first time I walked on campus at 6-years-old.”
The 6-foot-1 San Antonio native was first introduced to Baylor by her father, Robert Wagner, who played tight end at Baylor under coach Grant Teaff from 1988-1991.
He, and his wife Laura, an all-American swimmer at Texas A&M, first took their daughter to Kim Mulkey’s basketball camp in Waco when she was in first grade.
They say she immediately bonded with the three-time national championship winning coach.
“I first took her when she was 6-years-old to Kim’s biddie ball camp,” Robert said.
“From that point on, she knew where she wanted to go and what she wanted to do.”
It may sound crazy, he admits, but Sammie has never been a typical child.
“Her first words were not mom and dad,” Robert said, laughing.
“It was ball.”
By the time Sammie returned to Mulkey’s camp when she was in second grade, coaches had taken note of her extraordinary young talent and moved her up to play with sixth graders.
And it wasn’t just the Lady Bears that were taking note.
Sammie was attending the private Buckner Fanning Elementary School in San Antonio at the time and was asked to join the middle school team when she was just 6.
By second grade, she had a starting position on it.
Sammie attended Baylor basketball camp every summer until last year.
This past season, she dominated, averaging 27-points a game with 14 rebounds and landed as the top recruit in her class in the nation by many standards.
She also plays for a prestigious club team in San Antonio, SA Finest, the same team which produced current Lady Bear standout NaLyssa Smith.
Sammie is still so versatile and young she’s considered “position-less,” playing everything from point guard, to shooting guard and post.
“She’s been recruited by pretty much all the best power five schools,” her father said.
“She planned to announce her commitment in the fall after she’d started high school, but she came to us and said ‘mom, dad, I don’t want to continue communicating with schools. I just want to commit and play basketball.’”
Sammie will attend Reagan High School in the fall and then Baylor in the fall of 2023, a commitment her dad says, barring unforeseeable or catastrophic circumstances, he doesn’t see changing.
“I think a lot people don’t understand Sam but she’s been at this since she was 4-years-old, she’s known Kim since 6. When she stepped into that arena in Waco at 6-years-old, she knew.”
"She’s driven this bus the whole time and she’s always known where she wanted to be.”