SAN ANTONIO – Michigan star Moritz Wagner and his Wolverines teammates are in the Alamo City for this weekend’s Final Four, but the German-born basketball player is no stranger to San Antonio basketball.
At the age of 17, Wagner and his club team faced the Spurs in a preseason game in Berlin.
“Yeah, I was on the court for like 90 seconds," Wagner joked on Thursday during locker room availability.
The Spurs played at Alba Berlin in August 2014 as part of the NBA’s Global Games series that year.
Wagner said the experience was eye-opening and something he would never forget.
That included one particular play where the 6-foot-11 power forward was blocked by Spurs 6-foot-6 guard Danny Green.
WATCH @umichbball star Mo Wagner (@moritz_weasley) once faced #Spurs and Tim Duncan in a preseason game in his hometown of Berlin, says 'it was the biggest thing in the world' to face Spurs, also mentions getting 'swatted' by Danny Green⬇️ #KSATsports #FinalFour #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/33PRzWulWy— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) March 29, 2018
"I got swatted by Danny Green so bad, I will never forget that,” Wagner said. "Still mad at him for that, (he) just couldn’t let me get the bucket, but that was incredible for me.”
A year later, Wagner was recruited to and ended up at Michigan where he has developed into one of the top power forwards in college basketball.
He will most likely get his shot at the Spurs again when he decides to go pro. He said his short time working with one of the NBA’s best franchises helped him in the long run.
“Playing with pros and practicing with pros shows you what type of physicality and what type of consistency you need to play at a high level,” Wagner added.
Wagner also wanted to make it clear Alba Berlin came out victorious that night against the Spurs.
“We won that game, just want to mention that, on a buzzer beater,” Wagner said. “I was 17 and that was the biggest thing in the world for me."
Highlights of the Spurs-Alba Berlin game, including the infamous block, can be seen on YouTube.