Not going to a big-name school didn’t deter former Dayton star Chris Wright from putting up big-time highlights during his four years in college. And now, following a senior season in which he nearly averaged a double-double (13.2 points, 8.4 rebounds per game), Wright looks to hear his name called tonight. I had the chance to speak with the former Flyer about his workouts, going to Dayton and his relationship with the “other” Chris Wright.
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Dime: How have your workouts been?
Chris Wright: The workouts have been pretty good. Going into the first one you really don’t know what to expect and then you kind of get a feel for it after you go through two or three workouts and they give positive feedback from the teams and stuff like that. You know, when you go into it, you really have to be in shape. I’m just having fun going through the whole process, it’s something I’ve just dreamed about and now it’s here. It’s really crazy but it’s also a blessing just to be at this point.
Dime: You injured your hand in your workout with the Warriors and needed stitches. How’d that happen?
CW: I was just kind of going after a loose ball. It’s not major. I had a couple stitches. Still, every time I go through the workouts I go through the workouts hard and stuff like that. There’s a little bump on my hand. It’s just a little bump or bruise, it’s not a problem. Nothing real, real major. But just going through the first workout with something on your hand like that, that’s kind of difficult you just have to adapt to that. But I’m able to still go through the workouts hard and showcase what I can do and try to do it to the best of my abilities and stuff like that. You know, just having fun. Still just going through the process.
Dime: How have you been dealing with the process of working out for all of these teams?
CW: I’m really just trying to stay focused on the task at hand. In between days if I would go back to training or I had to go from city to city, just making sure I get rest. Just continue to thank God every day for being there to go through this process and stuff like that because only a few people get to do it and being able to go, on Thursday, this is your day, this is your draft, it’s just amazing because you just always, think about it growing up, you see all the drafts, the draft process on TV and stuff like that. It’s really amazing. And every day just staying focused on the task at hand and not getting frustrated if you know, a workout didn’t go as well as you wanted it to go or you know, maybe you thought you did better in this workout than you did in this one, but just staying positive throughout the whole thing and continue to work hard and never giving up on anything, just constantly sticking with it.
Dime: What was your mentality throughout college and what got you to this point coming from Dayton?
CW: Just hard work and the time and effort I put in on the court and off the court and just really valuing being a good person all-around and not just on the court and having the character to work hard at everything you do no matter what the situation is. And going to Dayton, a lot of people wonder why I did that and everyone had their reasons and I’m a man of faith, you know, praying about the situation, you know, everything happens for a reason so God sent me for a reason. I mean I chose there. So just continue that and carry that over to the next level of hard work, you know, just putting in the time every single day to become a better player and also a better person. You know, that’s just the only thing I can try to do is just be myself.
Dime: What was your main reason for choosing Dayton? Was it to be close to home and your family or did you think it’d be a good basketball fit?
CW: It was kind of a mixture. I’m a big family guy. Being back at home and my family being able to come and see me play was huge for me. That was important to me but at the same time I knew it was a place where I could grow, from high school to college, continue to grow as a person and as a player. Just with a decision I made, winning the NIT championship my junior year, going to the tournament my sophomore year, we made it to the second round. Just every year making it to the postseason, you know, four out of four years. I’m just really happy. I’m excited about this next step and just wanna go from here.
Dime: Do you think going to Dayton over a bigger school helped you stand out more?
CW: Yes and no. Because you can go to a school that y’all playing the right competition, y’all paying the right teams, playing a better competition, you know it really doesn’t matter what school you go to because everyone’s gonna see. Those scouts and teams are gonna see you play and playing against the best competition year in and year out, that’s what you want to do. So I think at Dayton we did a good job and the coaches did a good job of putting the right caliber teams on the schedule and playing the right teams and we knocked off some big teams, teams that were considered power conference teams and our conference is pretty good. And I give credit to the guys and the coaches and the programs in our conference just because we’re out there, we represent each other when we go play against those power conference teams. Going to Dayton, I don’t really think it mattered. I just thought it was a decision that I made just to do something different because people were expecting me to go to the big BCS Conference. But I didn’t.
Dime: What are your plans for draft night?
CW: I’m just being with my family and stuff like that, just waiting to see what happens. Excited about the whole process and just being around my family and just family time and staying as humble as possible with the process and just enjoy it.
Dime: Is there a specific team that you think you fit well with?
CW: I’m just happy about the process period. Whatever team decides to choose me, when I go in there, whatever they ask me to do, I’m gonna try to fulfill those needs on that team and also still bring what I bring to the table. Hard work, effort and energy. Just being a guy trying to outwork everyone around and continue to improve that way and taking everything that a team is teaching me because that’s about the game of learning. And becoming more of a student of the game at the next level and just going from there. I’m just hoping that someone will take that step and take a chance on me. I could be really useful on a team and really bring my attributes and what I can do to a team just to help out.
Dime: What are your best attributes that you can contribute to a team?
CW: Rebounding, defending, running the floor, bringing energy. Bringing excitement to a team. Bringing excitement to a floor and my athleticism. And still continue to improve and work on my game.
Dime: How often to people confuse you for the other Chris Wright?
CW: It happened a lot in high school. It happened a lot, a lot in high school. Every time me and Chris Wright see each other we play, ‘Nah you the real Chris Wright.’ And he’s like, ‘Nah, you are.’ So we kind of go back and forth saying, ‘Nah, you the real one,’ but people always get that confused. But now I think once he played on TV, I played on TV in college, that people can pretty much distinguish and determine who is who.
Is Chris Wright one of the biggest sleepers in the draft?
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