From B.C. to C's
Catching up with John Bagley
He was the floor general for two New England basketball teams during his career -- the Boston Celtics and Boston College Eagles.
John Bagley is considered one of the greatest basketball players ever at Boston College and enjoyed a successful NBA career, which spanned 13 seasons, including three seasons with the Celtics (1989-93) where Bagley was the starting point guard and was instrumental in the team's success.
I enjoyed every moment of it, said Bagley about playing with the Celtics. The biggest thing growing up in New England is you hear everything about the Celtics and the tradition. For a guy like me growing up playing basketball in New England that was a pinnacle point in my career.
At Boston College, Bagley averaged nearly 18 points per game and became the first Eagle to earn Big East Player of the Year in honors. A member of the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame, he led the Eagles during the 1980-81 season to the Big East regular season championship and the NCAA's Sweet 16 and the following season led B.C. to the NCAA's Elite Eight. B.C. has been good to me, said Bagley. I enjoyed Chestnut Hill and the closeness that we felt as a family. Doug Flutie was there and it was a great experience during my time there.
These days, Bagley is still on the bench, but this time as head coach for the Harper College Men's Basketball team, which is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association and plays in the North Central Community College Conference.
Bagley just finished his third season as head coach and finished with a 17-9 record. His team qualified for post-season play, but fell in the first round of the tournament.
I love teaching the game and being able to give young players the opportunity to see the game from a different perspective, said Bagley.
In fact when Bagley was first offered the job, he turned it down and when it came open again a second time he decided to take it.
They asked me if I was interested and I said I would look at it, said Bagley about the position the first time around. He told me how much it paid and I said never mind. A couple of years later the job came open again and I looked into a little bit further and took the job.
As far as the future, Bagley wants to remain in coaching.
Im trying to build my coaching career, said Bagley. Ive been looking for some opportunities and been applying for head coaching jobs. I would love the opportunity to coach at a four-year school. The NBA level is something I would like to do after I coach at the college level.
Currently, Bagley resides Elgin, Illinois, which is west of Chicago and has a daughter Janelle, 13, and a son C.J., 10.
I settled down in this area because of the kids, said Bagley. Its a great time. As they get older they are taking an interest in arts, sports, and different things.
Outside of Harper College, Bagley has his plate full. He does individual skill development for young players, runs a 32-team high school summer league, works at a camp at Harper College for the youth, which offers academics to sports, and this year for the first time is coaching the Chicago Dogs, which is an IBL semi-pro league. This is the first-year of the Dogs.
Bagley played 13 seasons in the NBA and along with the Celtics played with the Cleveland Cavaliers for five years setting the team's all-time assist record, two years with the New Jersey Nets and finished up his career playing one season with the Atlanta Hawks before retiring in 1994.
Having played for not only one team in Boston, but for two, Boston remains special to Bagley.
(It was incredible) being able to come back and play with the likes of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, and Dennis Johnson, said Bagley. It was a wonderful experience for a young man.