One of the better players on Lute Olson’s turn-of-the-century Arizona Wildcats teams was found dead in his car of a skull fracture in New York on Tuesday morning.
Michael Wright, who was drafted by the Knicks in 2001, reportedly had his body covered in garbage bags inside his Lexus SUV in Brooklyn. The New York Daily News spread word of Wright’s death Wednesday.
The official Twitter account for the Arizona men’s basketball program sent this tweet:
Very saddened by the news of former Wildcat Michael Wright’s passing. He and his family are in our thoughts. #RIP pic.twitter.com/EE5N0DW2I5
— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) November 11, 2015
Wright never caught on in the NBA but spent more than a decade playing professionally overseas. He played for teams in Israel, Poland, Turkey, France and Germany.
More via the Daily News:
“We are in disbelief,” Wright’s cousin Randolph Berry, 40, of Chicago told the News. “They’re telling us it’s foul play. His mom is on her way to New York now.”
Berry said he didn’t know why someone would hurt his cousin, who on the court was an imposing 6-foot-8 power forward. … The vehicle had been sitting on the street since Sunday, neighbors told police. Detectives are investigating the possibility that he was killed by someone he met on a gay dating app, Grinder, police sources said.
Wright started for the 2000-01 Wildcats, a team that lost to Duke in the national championship game. As a high school player, Wright was a member of the same Farragut Career Academy team as NBA legend Kevin Garnett. He finished his three-year college career at Arizona averaging 15.1 points and 8.2 rebounds.