For most athletes, once they reach the professional stage they are given a few years after the draft to prove to the world that they deserve to be there and have what it takes to make a career out of playing the game. Usually they are forgotten about after those years and the spotlight is removed if the years were full of inconsistency and a lack of chances to become a starter. However, for Golden State Warriors small forward Dorell Wright it was a different situation.
Drafted by the Miami Heat straight out of high school in 2004, Dorell Wright was named the top prep school player in the nation by Basketball Times following his 2003-04 season at South Kent Prep. He initially committed to joining DePaul University before entering the draft, but decided to become an early entry candidate and went straight to the NBA. He only appeared in three games in his rookie season due to an injury and spent most of his time coming off the bench while in Miami. He was a member of the 2006 Championship team in which he was the youngest player on the team’s roster.
Following the 2009-10 season, Wright entered the free agent market and ended up signing with the Golden State Warriors. In his first season with the Warriors, Wright’s career and life would take a turn for the best. Now playing on a young Warriors team, Wright became a starter from day one in Golden State and showed everyone in the basketball world why he was named the top prep school player in the nation back in 2004. Averaging 38.4 minutes per game and finishing fourth in the league in minutes played; Wright made a name for himself this past season for his ability to drain the 3-point shots. He Finished 1st in the league in 3-point shots made (194) and attempted (516) and was also selected to participate in the 3-Point Shootout at the 2010 All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. He finished 3rdin votes for the NBA Most Improved Player and broke some records within the organization; passing Jason Richardson in most 3-pointers made in a game scoring nine to beat his eight, as well as the most 3-pointers made in a season with Richardson’s previous record being 183. He also became the first player in NBA history to score more points in his seventh season than he did in his first six seasons combined.
The biggest thing that Wright accomplished during the 2010 season came off the court. He created, founded and funded the D. Wright Way Foundation; an organization dedicated to enthusing and cultivating young scholars into productive and active participants of society. He serves inner-city communities and underserved youths as he creates programs that are tailored towards the elevation, transformation and empowerment of today’s young minds and helps motivate them to reach their full potential. Nicknamed “The Righteous One” by former teammate and friend Dwyane Wade due to his jersey number and his incredible future in the NBA, Wright focuses a lot of his time on helping kids and teens become the best person they can possibly be as they are the leaders of tomorrow.
His foundation hosted many events this past season, helping out as many people in the community as possible. He tried to cater to whoever needed the help with programs that ranged from one season to another. He hosted the D. Wright Way Family First Turkey Drive; the Winter Wonderland Toy Drive; Wright Way Kids Fun Day; KB3 Scholarship; D. Wright Way Basketball Camp; the 1st Annual D. Wright Way Foundation Gala of Giving; and A Trip To D. Wright Way. He helps bring kids out to games, hands out scholarships to help kids with school, helps donate toys to families who can’t afford gifts at Christmas time and even brings Thanksgiving dinners to the people of Oakland who can’t afford to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
He has proven to the world that hard work does pay off. He has shown everyone that you should never back down from a challenge and if anything you should just work harder to better yourself. He is a perfect example to the kids he reaches out to all year long as he truly is an athlete that can inspire people everywhere. Now that the league has finally gotten a taste of Dorell Wright, you can expect him to be around for many years impressing fans everywhere with the work he does both on and off the court.
To learn more about the D. Wright Way Foundation, visit http://www.dwrightwayfoundation.org/#