Wagman was an outstanding basketball player at Eastern District High School in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He was the Captain of his team and was named to the All-New York City team during his senior season. He was awarded the Wyngate memorial medal which was given to the Senior with the best record in athletic improvement, schoolwork and character. For his terrific achievements in high school, George Washington University awarded him a basketball scholarship. He was the team captain of the freshmen GWU team and by his sophomore year, he was part of the starting line-up for varsity team. Wagman later played basketball for Camp Perry and the Bethesda Naval Hospital when he served in the Navy.