Iowa Men's Basketball

Brady Ellingson, Ahmad Wagner leaving Iowa men's basketball team

Ellingson to play elsewhere, Wagner will try football

Iowa guard Brady Ellingson (24) shoots during the Hawkeyes' 87-84 loss to Purdue last Jan. 20 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa guard Brady Ellingson (24) shoots during the Hawkeyes' 87-84 loss to Purdue last Jan. 20 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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IOWA CITY — Iowa junior basketball player Brady Ellingson announced Tuesday that he will leave the Hawkeyes’ program and play as a graduate transfer elsewhere next season.

Junior forward Ahmad Wagner will explore college football opportunities.

Ellingson is a fourth-year junior who will earn a degree in enterprise leadership in May. He played in 94 games for the Hawkeyes, 28 of them this past season. He averaged 2.8 points per game this season.

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Iowa basketball program the past four seasons,” Ellingson said in a release from Iowa’s sports information department. “I look forward to pursuing an expanded role at another institution where I can achieve the goals I have as both a basketball player and student. I will take with me the memories and friendships created with my teammates. I also want to thank the Hawkeye fans for their support the last four years.”

“We want to thank Brady for his contribution to our program over the past four seasons,” said Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery. “Brady is a hard worker, a terrific teammate, and a good student. We wish Brady good luck in his future endeavors. My staff and I will do whatever we can to help Brady during this transition.”


Ellingson is from Menomonee Falls, Wis. He became the all-time leading scorer in that city’s Hamilton High School, with 1,763 points.

Wagner, 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds, played in 96 games with 25 starts (seven this past season) for Iowa. He averaged 1.7 points and 1.7 rebounds over his 30 appearances in the season that just ended. He had 18 starts as a sophomore.

“I have had recent discussions with my family and the coaching staff, and ultimately decided to leave the Hawkeye basketball program and end my college basketball career so I can finish my collegiate eligibility playing football,” said Wagner in a different release from the UI’s sports information staff.

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“A person of strong faith, I am following God’s plan and I am eager for this next chapter. I leave the Iowa men’s basketball team with new friendships and incredible memories that I will forever treasure. I want to thank coach McCaffery, staff, and teammates for helping me grow both as a basketball player and person.

“My plan now is to train and get my body into football shape so I can be ready for when I decide where I will finish my athletic and academic goals. Thank you Hawkeye nation for your support and welcoming me when I first stepped onto campus.”

Wagner is from Yellow Springs, Ohio. He attended Wayne High School in Huber Heights. He had 58 receptions for 1,028 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior receiver for Wayne’s football team, which reached the state-title game that year. He averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds as a prep senior.

“Ahmad has been a tremendous teammate and an absolute joy to coach the past three seasons,” McCaffery said. “Ahmad has a unique blend of athleticism and strength to go along with a tremendous work-ethic. I have no doubt that he will be successful in his pursuit of playing football. I am excited for his future and wish him nothing but the best. We will work with Ahmad any way we can to assist him during this transition.”

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