Back in April when Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook closed the 2016-17 regular season averaging a triple-double, Ashton Hagans, a five-star point guard, had a logical epiphany.
He figured that if Russell Westbrook could maintain those numbers over 82 games, certainly Hagans could do it for 25.
“Seeing that really made me believe,” Hagans said.
Makes sense since we haven’t actually seen that feat since Oscar Robertson in 1962.
Now Hagans is determined to keep it going with Newton (Covington, Ga.) this high school season.
“That’s my No. 1 goal,” Hagans said.
So far so good.
This season, Hagans is posting 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds for Newton (6-0).
“I watch a lot of Westbrook’s clips and just try to pick up his tendencies and any little thing that he’s doing that most people wouldn’t recognize,” Hagans said. “I get a lot from studying him.”
Hagans readily admits that the whole concept of individual goals can be selfish, but pointed out that the triple-double is the proverbial gift that keeps on giving.
“It helps everyone if I’m doing that,” Hagans said. “I want to average that because if I’m able to do that then we’re gonna win more. My teammates help me out a lot by knocking down the shots. My coaches tell me to just play my game and they give me that freedom. It gives me a lot of confidence.”
The obvious question is how?
Goals are one thing, goal attainment is quite another.
Hagans’ method is simple: Get teammates involved and rack up the assists early in the game; score later.
“I just build the confidence of my guys early and put them in position for easy scores where they like the ball,” Hagans said. “For me, I know scoring comes easier in the fourth quarter because that’s when everyone gets tired. I work hard so I don’t really get tired. I feel like I’ll be able to keep it up.”
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