Dorell Wright has experienced a lot since entering the NBA directly out of high school in 2004. Selected 19th overall by Miami, Wright was the youngest member of the 2006 NBA Champion Miami Heat. He would then move on to Golden State where he would sign as a free agent prior to the 2010 season. While playing for the Warriors, Wright competed in the 3-Point Shootout at the 2011 NBA All-Star Weekend. Now, entering his 10th NBA season as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, Wright has been making a name for himself off the court through the D Wright Way Foundation and is ready to make a difference in his new home.
“The motivation is all about giving back to the community and I think that’s one of the most important things about being a professional athlete and being someone that a lot of people look up to,” said Wright. “I just want to try and reach out and give back to the inner city kids. I’m happy to have the foundation and be able to help out those that are in need.”
“Me, being an inner city kid, I know how tough it is to grow up like that. There are so many things that get you sidetracked like the streets and gangs, just little things that go on out there on the streets, when kids should be doing other activities and stuff like that,” he continued.
“A lot of parents work extra hours and overtime and things like that, so you spend a lot of time with yourself and I think that it’s very important to interact with those kids and show them the positive and good things.”
Although he is a new face in town, Wright plans on doing as much as he can to help the team on the court and the community off of it. He has done things in the past like Christmas Drives and the Winter Wonderland Toy Drive and he expects to do the same in Portland.
“We’re in the works right now, just putting things together. We’re definitely going to do the Christmas Drive this year and the Toy Drive, just try to help out some families. Those are the first few things right now that we have planned, but as the season goes along, my team, the D Wright Way Foundation team, we’ll go over the schedule and see different events that we can plan, you know, in between games and practices, so we’re going to have a lot of things by the end of the season, for sure,” explained the Los Angeles, California native.
Dorell Wright hosted his 3rd annual Skate Party at Northridge Skateland in California in August. Many NBA players were in attendance to show Wright their support for him and his foundation. Some of the players that were in attendance include Jordan Crawford, Nick Young, JaVale McGee and Brandon Jennings.
“I never thought that one day all of these people would be supporting the D Wright Way Foundation,” said Wright, “but when you’re doing positive things in the community it’s only a matter of time until people start falling in line and showing their support.”
“Just to see all of my peers, like different NBA players, coming out to have a good time, just the fact that they all wanted to get involved and give back as well, it means a lot to me and it means that each year we’ll be able to get bigger and better and expand.”
Wright has come a long way since his rookie season. He may not be the oldest player on the Trail Blazers, but he definitely brings some experience to the table. He is joining a team that gives back so much to their fans and he is looking forward to taking advantage of his new opportunity with his new club that is so active in the community. Wright never really had someone to influence him the way he influences today’s youth, but he knew that once he made it he had to make a difference.
“No one really made it where I stayed at. No one went pro or anything, so once I made it I knew I wanted to give back because it seemed like the right thing to do,” Wright described. “Just to make the kids happy, you know, you never know what they’re going through, so even spending an hour with them goes a long way. You’re changing their lives and it makes them feel real comfortable because I know where they’re coming from and what it’s like at home, so I can relate to what they’re going through and it’s always awesome.”
To learn more about the D Wright Way Foundation, visit http://dwrightwayfoundation.org/