Annually, the Washington D.C. area produces elite level athletes. By the time these athletes graduate high school, they have already earned a large quantity of awards and even national recognition. Year in and year out, these players go off to various colleges across the country and accomplish a great deal. From here on out, however, much of what these athletes accomplish seems to go unnoticed. Every Wednesday, tune in to alloverthehill.com as I spotlight local area athletes that have flourished in their respective sports. This segment will highlight how the careers of local products have progressed and what their next step will be. It is my pleasure to open the newest Around the Hill segment profiling St. John’s College High School and Georgetown University graduate, Christopher Wright.
We’ve got Wright! We’ve got Wright! For four years, fans listened as St. John’s College high School students chanted the name of point guard Chris Wright. What they didn’t realize is that they had been watching more than just a great basketball player develop.
In the years prior to Wright’s arrival, the program had struggled at times to keep up with long time rival, Dematha Catholic. Over the course of his four years, however, Chris almost single handedly brought the St. John’s basketball program back to conference relevancy. Chris made an instant impact in his first season as a St. John’s Cadet. He logged major minutes as a freshman and many knew Chris Wright was the real deal.
Wright’s intense work ethic took his game to the next level, and in the next three years he began scoring at will in the vaunted Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Fans all over the Washington D.C. area marveled as Chris developed into one of the sports premier shooters. One of Wright’s best high school games was against the aforementioned Dematha. In warm ups, Chris’s focus was on display as he made sure he converted every pre-game shot. Wright’s perfection bled into the game, and fans marveled as he scored 31 points despite the team’s struggles. Wright finished up his senior campaign averaging 30 points per game, was St. John’s all-time leading scorer, and was awarded the title of Gatorade Washington, D.C. Player of the Year.
Wright’s accomplishments were unforeseen in the area, and Chris was named to the All- Metropolitan basketball team three times. Chris Wright was recognized nationally as well, after being named to both the Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald’s All-American games. After a rather tumultuous recruiting process, Chris decided to sign with Georgetown University and stay in the city that adored him.
Chris went on to the lead the Hoyas to 4 NCAA tournament appearances and started numerous games. Wright, however, was bitten by the injury bug several times throughout his collegiate career, which limited his effectiveness at times. Chris broke his foot prior to his freshman season and only played a few games. Then, with just three games remaining in his senior year he suffered a broken hand that caused the team to make an early exit from the 2011 NCAA tournament as a number two seed.
Wright then proceeded to go undrafted by NBA teams despite his collegiate successes. Still, Chris caught on with a Turkish League club, Olin Edirne. Wright excelled, and was signed to a non-guaranteed contract with the New Orleans Hornets. Chris, however, did not make the team’s final roster, and signed with the organization’s developmental team, the Iowa Energy. Wright quickly made his mark in yet another league, and was named to the league’s All-Star team.
Soon thereafter, Chris was signed by the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks to a 10-day contract. What most fans were probably unaware of at the time was that Wright had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that affects a person’s central nervous system, and often times is crippling. In signing with the Mavericks, Chris became known as the first NBA player ever to play with MS.
Chris has broken barriers throughout his career and competing with MS is just another step of Wright’s progress as an individual. He has shown great perseverance through significant struggles and has proved that anything possible. Chris Wright still has plenty left in his gas tank and fans will be chanting his name for many seasons to come.