A Closer Look At Will Magarity
Nov. 6, 2013
by Dominique Oliveto
For freshman Will Magarity, basketball is more than just a game. It is a family affair.
The son of two European professional basketball players, the big man began hitting the hardwood heavily at a young age.
"For as long as I can remember, I have always been playing or involved with the game of basketball," Magarity said.
His basketball pedigree alone speaks for itself; lauded as one of the top European talents of his age group, he represented Sweden in the U-16 European Championship, averaging 15.6 points and 7.0 rebounds in eight games. Magarity also played in the U-18 European Championship before moving to Italy and playing professionally for Angelico Biella, an Italian team that produced NBA players Thabo Sefolosha and Jonas Jerebko.
Magarity kept his amateur status by not pursuing a professional contract which gave him NCAA eligibility. He made the decision to come back to Sweden and finish the remainder of the season on Sweden's U-20 National Team, where he averaged 6.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in 21 minutes per game.
The 6-foot-11 forward received world-wide recognition from his young playing career, and was even offered a contract with the Italian team Benetton Treviso, but Magarity had bigger plans in his mind: to come to America and play at the collegiate level, just as his father did.
"I've grown up watching college basketball," Magarity said. "Playing in Europe was a great experience but I wanted to come here for the academic reason. I realized later that it is important to have good academics because there is a life outside basketball as well."
Schools such as Oregon State, USC, Northwestern and Baylor showed interest in the power forward, but Magarity narrowed his choices down to Seton Hall, Temple and Boston College. The Eagles won out, despite Magarity's strong ties to the City of Brotherly Love.
Magarity's father, Bill Magarity Sr., was a Catholic League MVP at Cardinal Dougherty High in Philadelphia who then went on to become a standout forward at the University of Georgia. After his stint with the Bulldogs, Magarity Sr. took his game overseas where he obtained Swedish citizenship and landed himself a spot on the Swedish National team; where he still holds the record for scoring, rebounding, and free throw percentage. It was in Sweden where Magarity met Will's mother, Ammi, who also played for the Swedish National Team.
Magarity and his parents aren't the only relatives bred on the hardwood. His uncle, Dave Magarity, is the head women's basketball coach at Army, his cousin Maureen is the head women's basketball coach at University of New Hampshire, and his brother-in-law, Dan Earl is the associate head coach for the men's basketball team at Navy.
"For me, it wasn't a matter of going where my name was already famous," Magarity said. "I wanted to come here and make my name famous."
The competitive edge of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball is what enticed the Swedish stand-out to bring his talents to The Heights, in addition to the academics that Boston College has to offer.
Most importantly, head coach Steve Donahue sealed the deal when he flew over to Sweden to visit Magarity.
"Coach Donahue came over to Sweden for a day just to say hi to me," Magarity said. "I took that really personally. He actually flew the nine hours plus layover to meet me. It really meant a lot."
Donahue is equally as impressed with Magarity.
"I think he is a piece that will help us," Donahue said. "He's a big body that moves really well and he is older for his grade. He's seen a lot more competitive basketball than a typical freshman and his skill level is very good. He is another big man you can put in there and can really battle physically, yet fits our systems as well."
Magarity is the third international player to join the Eagles along with junior Patrick Heckmann (Germany) and sophomore Olivier Hanlan (Canada). But in Donahue's system, he should feel right at home.