Michael Wright (basketball)

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Michael Wright
Michael Wright Mecz gwiazd PLK 2010.jpg
Wright (left) with the 2010 PLK All-Star game MVP award
Personal information
Born (1980-01-07)January 7, 1980
Chicago, Illinois
Died November 10, 2015(2015-11-10) (aged 35)
Brooklyn, New York
Nationality American / Turkish
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 238 lb (108 kg)
Career information
High school Farragut Academy
(Chicago, Illinois)
College Arizona (1998–2001)
NBA draft 2001 / Round: 2 / Pick: 38th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Pro career 2001–2015
Position Power forward
Career history
2001–2002 Śląsk Wrocław
2002–2003 Granada
2003–2004 Hapoel Tel Aviv
2004–2005 Alba Berlin
2005–2006 Beşiktaş Cola Turka
2006 Jeonju KCC Egis
2006–2007 Pau Orthez
2007–2009 Turk Telekom
2009–2010 Turów Zgorzelec
2010–2011 Medical Park Trabzonspor
2011–2012 Turk Telekom
2012–2014 Mersin BB
2015 Cholet Basket
Career highlights and awards

Michael Wright (January 7, 1980 – November 10, 2015) was an American-Turkish professional basketball player who last played for Cholet Basket of the LNB Pro A. He also held a Turkish citizenship. His Turkish name was Ali Karadeniz.[1][2]

Wright played his high school basketball at Farragut Academy, where, as a freshman, he was part of one of the best teams in the country, which boasted future professionals Willie Farley and Ronnie Fields, as well as Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Kevin Garnett. At 2.01 m (6 ft 7 ¼ in), Wright played center after Garnett's departure, and moved to power forward in college.

At the University of Arizona, Wright started for the Wildcats in the 2001 NCAA Division I championship against the Duke Blue Devils. However, undersized for that position at the pro level[citation needed], and too slow to be a small forward,[citation needed]he dropped to the second round of the 2001 NBA Draft where he was drafted by the New York Knicks.

After not joining the Knicks or any other NBA team post-draft, Wright moved overseas and switched teams almost every season. He started with Polish league champions Śląsk Wrocław, that also participated in the Euroleague, moving to Spain's CB Granada the following year.

After the team was relegated to the LEB (Spain's second division), Wright moved to Israel and signed with Hapoel Tel Aviv, and a year later with ALBA Berlin.

In 2005, He moved to Beşiktaş Cola Turka of the Turkish Basketball League. He started the 2006-07 season in South Korea with Jeonju KCC Egis, in October signed with French and Euroleague's EB Pau Orthez.

In May of 2007, he moved back to Turkey and signed for Türk Telekom B.K.. In September 2009 he has signed a contract with Turów Zgorzelec from Poland for 2009-10 season.[3]

In July of 2011, he returned to Türk Telekom B.K. for one season with an option for a second one.[4]

In the summer of 2012, he signed a contract with Mersin BB.[5]

On February 3, 2015, he signed with Cholet Basket of the French LNB Pro A.[6] After averaging 1.7 points and 2 rebounds in 3 contests, Wright and Cholet parted ways.[7] According to a family member interviewed after his death, Wright intended to return to Europe to play another two seasons before retirement.[8]

On November 10, 2015, Wright was found dead in his sport utility vehicle in Brooklyn, New York, covered in trash bags in the vehicle's back seat. The medical examiner has determined that his death was a homicide.[8][9][10]


  1. ^ Michael Wright got Turkish citizenship[dead link]
  2. ^ "Michael Wright become Ali Karadeniz". Salsabasket.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  3. ^ Ostatnie wzmocnienia w PGE Turowie[dead link]
  4. ^ "Turk Telekom Ankara announces Michael Wright". Sportando.net. 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  5. ^ "Mersin lands Ali Karadeniz". Sportando.net. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  6. ^ "Cholet lands Michael Wright". Sportando.com. 2015-02-03. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  7. ^ Michael Wright leaves Cholet
  8. ^ a b DeLessio, Joe (November 12, 2015). "Police Treating Former Knicks Draft Pick’s Death As a Homicide". New York Magazine. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Arizona basketball: Ex-Wildcat Michael Wright dead at 35". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  10. ^ "Former Farragut star Michael Wright, 35, found dead in Brooklyn". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 

External links[edit]