McKinley Wright IV, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior guard from Champlin Park (MN) High, was recently named Minnesota's Mr. Basketball. Wright averaged 22.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game this season for the Rebels, who finished runner-up in last week's Class AAAA state tournament.
Wright made his official visit to Minnesota last fall and narrowed his college choice to Dayton and Minnesota. Four-star guard Isaiah Washington committed to the Gophers September 11th and Wright committed to the Flyers two days later.
Dayton assistant coach Tom Ostrom attended the Rebels' opening round game versus Chaska at the Target Center after finishing with 30 points and eight rebounds in a 53-50 win. Wright had 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists in their 70-62 win over Wayzata last Thursday to advance to the title game.
However, Saturday morning it was announced that Dayton head coach Archie Miller would leave to take a similar job at Indiana. Wright was held to just four of 15 shooting from the field and six of eleven from the charity stripe as the Rebels lost to Apple Valley in the title game 60-54, snapping their unbeaten streak.
Wright had offers from schools such as Minnesota, Dayton, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Xavier, Sam Houston State, Illinois and Creighton. Wright attended the Minnesota games versus Nebraska-Omaha and Clemson last year.
Wright caught up with Gopher Hole Saturday at the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Series at Macalester College to talk about the latest on being named Mr. Basketball and his future college home.
Gopher Hole: You were named Minnesota Mr. Basketball. What does that mean to you?
McKinley Wright: It is a huge honor. Knowing that this award is national, it means so much to individual players. It is a big thing for me and my family. For me personally, knowing that all the hard work I have been putting in is starting to pay off, so that was big for me.
Gopher Hole: You played in the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Series in St. Cloud Friday and at Macalester College today. There was a lot of scoring, but it was also fun to see some of the players that you have grown up with and against. What was this experience like?
McKinley Wright: It was fun. The top players in the state. We all got together. Had a fun night last night. Had fun at the hotel and come back today and play some more games. It was a fun experience before everybody takes off for college to throw an event like this, so it was fun. .
Gopher Hole: You have grown up with some of these kids and played with them many times. Is it kind of fun to get everybody together one last time?
McKinley Wright: It was fun. Everybody knows each other's game. We played each other all throughout the high school season. This doesn't mean as much as high school records and stuff like that, so we didn't really care who came out with the W's tonight. We just try to come out and have fun.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, you have been getting asked this a million times, but what is the latest on your recruitment right now?
McKinley Wright: I don't really have nothing going on. Archie Miller left Dayton and went to Indiana. Since then, I haven't really thought about anything. I am just taking this slow. Letting everything go by. Talked to Coach (Anthony) Grant at Dayton. He seems like a good guy. There is nothing really going on right now.
Gopher Hole: Do you know anything about him at all? He was the head coach at VCU and Alabama.
McKinley Wright: He coached at VCU and Alabama. He was an assistant coach for the Thunder with Westbrook and Durant. That is pretty much all I know.
Gopher Hole: Are you starting to hear from other schools?
McKinley Wright: I don't have a release, though. Schools can't hit me up, so I don't know if they are talking to my coaches or who they are talking to, but there is nobody hitting me up, individually.
Gopher Hole: Is this kind of tough because you knew where you were going for quite awhile and now it is up in the air. Does that make it a little tough for you?
McKinley Wright: I mean, it is a tough situation. Me and Miller had a good relationship. Me and Tom Ostrom had a good relationship. I don't know what is going on there. Right now, like I said I am just laying back and taking everything slow.
Gopher Hole: How many official visits did you end up taking in the fall? (A player gets five official visits)
McKinley Wright: I have taken two. Minnesota and Dayton.
Gopher Hole: Do you have a time frame for when you are hoping to know what you are doing?
McKinley Wright: I don't really have a time frame. Like I said, taking everything slow. Letting this all go over. Try to have fun. Like this weekend was big for me, to come out and have fun. I tried not to worry about that at all. These guys helped me. I am close with these guys and we just had fun.
Gopher Hole: Have you talked to any of the other Dayton signees. I think that I saw that one is going to go to Indiana?
McKinley Wright: I talked to both Jordans Jordan (Pierce, a 6-foot-10 power forward from New Jersey and Jordan Davis, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from South Carolina. I talked to all of them. They don't really know what is going on. They are the same position as I am. They are taking it slow. Having fun. They had all-star games in their states, too. Like I said, we are not rushing into anything right now. We are just taking everything slow.
Gopher Hole: I know that it is a tough situation for all of you, but is it kind of nice that you at least have other kids that you can talk to and unfortunately are going through the same thing?
McKinley Wright: It's nice. To hear other people's opinion on what they may do or what they are going to do. Like I said, we're not really rushing into anything.