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Arizona's Michael Wright Declares for NBA Draft
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 04/09/2001
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TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona men's basketball player Michael Wright has decided to forego his senior season and make himself eligible for the 2001 NBA Draft.

Wright, a 6-foot-7, 238-pound forward from Chicago, Ill., averaged 15.6 points, and a team-leading 7.8 rebounds in 36 games this season. He also led the team with a 59.4 field goal percentage and shot 79.7 percent from the line. He collected nine double-doubles in 2000-01 and was one of two Wildcat players to start all 36 games this season.

"I think we are all working towards the goal of being professionals and I think this is my time to go after it with all my energies," said Wright. " I am grateful to the U of A basketball program for helping me grow on and off the court. I would like to thank the coaching staff, especially the mentoring of Coach Olson, the integrity of Coach Rosborough and the patience of assistant coach Pastner, my road roommate, who I tortured for three years. Special thanks to the people of Tucson, who touched me in ways they can never know. Tucson was a different world for me to adjust to three years ago. Tucson took me into their hearts and I leave Tucson as a better person. I will be back as a fan to always support the program."

Wright finished his career with 34 double-doubles, including a 10-point, 11-rebound effort vs. Duke in the National Championship game. He shot 61.4 percent from the floor in six NCAA Tournament games. Wright was a third team All-America selection by the Associated Press and ESPN.com, as well as all-Pacific-10 Conference, the Maui Invitational Most Valuable Player and a finalist for both the Naismith and Wooden Player-of-the-Year awards.

One of the most consistent players in the nation, Wright closes his career ranked 11th on the UA career scoring list (1,491 points), fifth in rebounds (832) and tied for fifth in field goal percentage (.575). A starter in 95 of 99 career games, Wright scored in double-figures 83 times. He posted career averages of 15.1 points and 8.4 rebounds.

Wright is just the fourth Arizona player to leave school early for the NBA Draft in the Lute Olson era, joining Brian Williams (1991), Mike Bibby (1998) and Richard Jefferson (2001).

The 2001 NBA Draft is scheduled for Wednesday, June 27, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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