Michael Wright: ‘Former Arizona’ star found dead in New York

Michael Wright: Former Arizona star found dead in New York
Michael Wright: Former Arizona star found dead in New York

Michael Wright, a former forward for the University of Arizona, died Tuesday night at age 35.

Michael Wright was found Tuesday morning slumped down in the back of a Lexus SUV near the intersection of Avenue I and E. 16th Street in the Midwood section, police said.

Police said he had an impact wound to his head that likely caused serious brain injuries.

Michael Wright had been living in Closter, New Jersey, with a roommate, who reported him missing on Nov. 5, an NYPD spokesman said. License plate readers helped police locate the SUV, the spokesman said.

Police didn’t release a motive in the case.

A Chicago native, Wright was a high school basketball star at the city’s Farragut Academy. At the University of Arizona, he was a 6-foot-8 power forward on a team that made it to the NCAA title game in 2001, losing to Duke.

Michael Wright was drafted in the second round by the Knicks but didn’t sign with any NBA teams, opting instead to play overseas. During his career, he played for teams in France, Poland, Turkey and Israel, according to news reports. In 2014-15, he was with Cholet Basket in France.

“He left his French team in February and was planning to go back to Europe and play,” Randolph Berry, Wright’s cousin, told the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday. “He wasn’t planning on retiring.”