By Jolie Shultz
Online Editor

Coming into Hutchinson Community College as a fourth-generation legacy player, Landon Wagler had some big shoes to fill.

“My uncle was on the ’94 team, my dad and my mom came right after that,” Wagler said. “Growing up and hearing all the stories from my parents, and my uncle and even my granddad too, it’s a blessing to be here.”

Wagler described being able to play in the NJCAA tournament as a Blue Dragon as being able to have some of his childhood dreams come true.

“I go around, not even on campus, but anywhere in Hutch and see big giant fans there,” he said. “‘I know your dad, I know your grandpa’ so it feels awesome being out here. Building a connection, you know, it’s just great.”

Wagler also spoke about the differences between a regular season game as opposed to the championship games.

“It feels amazing to be on the court. My dad tells me a story about how it felt to play in the national tournament and I got that feeling today. The crowds erupting, the court feels awesome, the rims are soft,” Wagler said.

“It felt great, my first year here was a struggle. This year I’ve had some games where I didn’t play at all but coach has been on me. I told him last year I’d be his hardest worker and I feel like I show that in earning that starting spot today.”

However, Wagler’s focus wasn’t on that starting position.

“It doesn’t matter if I start or not, we got the win, that’s what matters,” he said.

Wagler’s legacy doesn’t just revolve around his family name, however. During the second round game vs. Chipola, Landon hit his career high in points, contributing 20 points.

“It felt great,” he said, referring to his career high. “Ball’s moving really well and I was just the one that happened to get the ball. It always feels good to score a lot like that. But of course, that’s credit to my teammates. They found me open.”

Wagler says that despite the family legacy, his family doesn’t put pressure on him and his performances.

“My parents always tell me ‘Don’t feel the pressure’ but I put a little bit of pressure. My whole family plays basketball, my brother, my older sister. They’ve got two championships, hopefully I can get one more, here. It’s a little bit of pressure, but at the same time it’s my game that I get to play.”

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