UTRGV-bound Barganier first Charger to sign to play college basketball
Like many of his perimeter shots on the basketball court, Isaiah Barganier's feats came in three on Signing Day on Wednesday morning.
One, the Fulshear senior wing signed to continue his hoops career at University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, which means his college tuition will be taken care of. Two, he found a way to repay his grandfather, his No. 1 fan. Three, Barganier became the first Charger to sign a scholarship to play college basketball.
"It was stressful, but I'm also humbled," Barganier said of the recruiting process. "A lot of kids may not have the same opportunities that I had, so I definitely thank the Lord for every position He's put me in. I've learned a lot, so I definitely appreciate everything."
UTRGV, which competes in the Western Athletic Conference, is relatively close to home, about a five-hour drive from Fulshear. That was key for Barganier.
"I wanted to stay close to home, stay close to my family," he said. "They get to come see me every game. Especially my grandfather, he's been to every single one of my games since eighth grade. I really wanted to pay that back to him, make sure he can come see me in college as well."
Another key was new UTRGV coach Matt Figger, who was hired in March after leading Austin Peay to a 76-51 overall record the previous four seasons.
"He's going to get on me, but I know he's going to love me at the end of the day," Barganier said. "He's going to get me so much better."
Fulshear senior Isaiah BarganierJustin Hartojo | VYPE Media
Barganier averaged 16.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists last season for Fulshear. He had 11 offers.
The 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward can play all five positions on the court, though he expects to be a wing or power forward at the next level. He lost 20 pounds during the offseason and worked tirelessly on his explosiveness.
"I'm just ready to enjoy my senior year," Barganier said. "First game is on Friday. I feel like somebody stepped off of my chest. I get to be free and just play."
As he embarks on his final season as a Charger, Barganier leaves a legacy for the youngsters coming up through the young program.
"Just keep working," Barganier said of what it means to be the first in the program to sign to play college basketball. "There's going to be a lot of people that try and bring you down. Know what you're about and know that you work hard. Go in, day in and day out, and do everything that it takes to be good. Be great."