Everyone loves a story about an underdog. That is because, against all odds, they not only persevere but also achieve something extraordinary in their lives. That is the case of Ishaan Jagiasi, who went from being 5’5″ and 135 lbs to 6’2 180 Ibs by senior year of high school. Being of such short stature and coming from Indian origin immediately placed him in a more challenging position when it came to achieving his dream of becoming a basketball star. Nevertheless, he broke through the challenges he faced and unlocked his own success.
Given his height when he was a freshman in high school, many doubted the ability of Ishaan to become part of one of the best high school basketball teams in the nation. He was usually counted out when it came to basketball in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
However, Ishaan was not going to let other people change his mind. Basketball was his passion at the time, and he would do everything in his power to prove that he deserved to be on the Huntington Prep basketball team. As one of the best basketball programs in the nation, Ishaan yearned to be a part of a team that produced NBA players like Andrew Wiggins, Miles Bridges, and Thomas Bryant.
Before the start of the 2018-2019 year, the head coach, Arkell Bruce, called Ishaan prior to him attending the school. He bluntly told him that “We can’t guarantee anything. You are going to have to come here and compete.” Acknowledging that the road ahead of him may be tough, Ishaan prepared for his debut and made sure he would get to show just how deserving he was to be on the team. He ended up doing just that.
Ishaan achieved his dream of being a high school basketball star who played alongside teammates who would go on to become Division 1 athletes. These included Jaemyn Brakefield (Duke), Quinn Slazinski (Louisville), AJ Hoggard (Michigan State), Josh Primo (Alabama), JT Thor (Auburn), Emmanuel Okpomo (Wake Forest), Dudley Blackwell (Iowa State), Greg Tribble (Akron), Zach Loveday (Baylor), Andre Gordon (Texas A&M), and Jimma Gatwetch (NBA draft prospect and skilled dunker).
As a former Huntington Prep Standout, Ishaan has already motivated countless others thanks to his underdog success story. He now tells others that “Anything is possible. You just have to outwork everyone else and stay positive!”
Today, Ishaan is enrolled in the University of Alabama and also enjoys a large fan base on his verified TikTok page, where he continues to inspire and motivate his 30K followers to follow their dreams, no matter how far away they may seem to be. He believes that if he could attain his dreams of becoming a basketball star, then anyone can go from being an underdog to being a success as well.