You’ve probably never heard of David Bagga. After his career as a role player at powerhouse Mater Dei high school in Santa Ana, California, Bagga walked on to the Arizona Wildcats. He later gained a small amount of notoriety when he wrote a book about his experience called The Walk On. In that book he talked a little about his high school experience. He played on a team with 5 players who would earn Division I scholarships. And the remarkable thing is that all five players ended up transferring schools in college.
Of course, this wasn’t that rare for Mater Dei. The LA Times attempted to put together an exhaustive list of Mater Dei alumni who transferred in college and came up with nearly two dozen names. Since that was written Tyler Lamb and Keala King have transferred. And now, another alumnus – UNLV’s Katin Reinhardt is doing the same.
Bagga has been open when it comes to the transfers, especially regarding head coach Gary McKnight's treatment of his star players. Conversing with AAU bigwig Dinos Trigonis last September, he had this to say.
@davidbagga You didn't transfer....but then again MD college walk-ons hardly transfer!lol— Dinos Trigonis (@trigonis30) September 12, 2012
@trigonis30 and i never transferred because i was never pampered by mcknight like taylor king and mike gerrity. those guys got everything.— David Bagga (@davidbagga) September 12, 2012
@davidbagga I'm just playin with you bro. I respect you as a player.I know what ur saying but I am surprised u are so open with itlol— Dinos Trigonis (@trigonis30) September 12, 2012
And after the Wear twins (both Mater Dei alums) left UNC, Bagga told ESPN, “Mater Dei guys transfer because of their egos and the combination that McKnight pampers the hell out of them and tells them how great they are when in actuality they need constructive criticism."
Reinhardt, the latest transfer, took all of this to heart when he was making his decision in high school. He originally committed to USC, but backed out of that because he wanted to be certain that he made the right choice. "He said, 'Dad, I don't want to transfer.' " Ernie Reinhardt said of his son. "I want to make sure the school I go to is a 100 percent commitment."
Now, after his freshman season, Reinhardt is leaving UNLV.
If this is about overly pampered players, then it seems like George Dohrmann – author of the highly regarded Play Their Hearts Out – agrees.
What do u call a kid who gets 25 min a game as a frosh with a total green light but still feels need to transfer? Mater Dei alumnus #UNLV— George Dohrmann (@georgedohrmann) May 27, 2013
Dave Rice's total faith in Katin bit #unlv during season and wasn't even rewarded. Total fail.— George Dohrmann (@georgedohrmann) May 27, 2013
People around Reinhardt think he was a 1-and-done talent and that Rice didn't showcase him enough. I'm not making that up.— George Dohrmann (@georgedohrmann) May 27, 2013
Reinhardt camp believed he (not Bennett) should have been focal point. Believed not all of KR's skills were showcased by Rice. Again,no joke— George Dohrmann (@georgedohrmann) May 27, 2013
Rice learning a valuable lesson from this about keeping a frosh happy at the expense of team basketball. Bowed down to KR & still he left— George Dohrmann (@georgedohrmann) May 27, 2013
What about Reinhardt? Was he pampered? What did he have to say about his high school experience? “Everybody wants to talk to you, everybody wants to get your autograph," he said. "The coaches love you and they treat you like God."