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Franz Wagner was asked the ‘basketball school’ question after Sweet 16 win

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Wagner wants to see his peers succeed.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Florida State at Michigan IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan basketball team is having one heck of a season, and it isn’t over yet. They’ll be facing UCLA in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday night.

A big reason Michigan has gone as far as they have is because of the play of Franz Wagner. After Michigan’s convincing win over Florida State in the Sweet Sixteen, Wagner showcased that he has leadership off the court just as much as he has on it.

Wagner was asked if Michigan is a ‘basketball school’.

“Four Elite Eights for Michigan since 2013. Pretty safe to say you guys are a basketball school these days, isn’t it?,” Wagner was asked.

Instead of taking the bait, Wagner showed support for the football team, and the rest of Michigan Athletics.

“I mean, the basketball program has done a good job, a great job obviously these last couple of years. I’m very confident in the football team. It’s going to surprise a lot of people next year. I don’t want to forget all the other sports too that have gone through these struggles that we have and don’t get the same attention,” Wagner explained. “I think sports in general, the athletic department at Michigan, you can see how we make steps forward every single year, and that makes me really proud.”

By taking the high road during a time when Michigan hoops is on the national stage shows Wagner’s maturity, and that the whole ‘football school’/’basketball school’ banter is kind of silly and futile. Basketball players root for the football players, and vice-versa. The pandemic took away a lot of sports, and now they’re all back. Life is better when Michigan Athletics has a chance to shine in a pool, on a wrestling mat, tennis court, football field, basketball court, hockey rink, baseball/softball diamond, and so on. Wagner’s comments represent Michigan athletes as a whole — they want to see each other succeed.