Michael Wright, American-Turkish basketball player, Died at 35


Michael Wright was born on January 7, 1980, and died on November 10, 2015 from a head injury.

He was an American-Turkish professional basketball player who last played for Cholet Basket of the LNB Pro A.

Michael also held a Turkish citizenship. His Turkish name was Ali Karadeniz.

Michael played his high school basketball at Farragut Academy, where, as a freshman, Michael was part of one of the best teams in the country, which boasted future professionals Willie Farley and Ronnie Fields, as well as Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Kevin Garnett.

At 2.01 m (6 ft 7 ¼ in), Michael played center after Garnett’s departure, and moved to power forward in college.

At the University of Arizona, Wright started for the Wildcats in the 2001 NCAA Division I championship against the Duke Blue Devils.

However, undersized for that position at the pro level, and too slow to be a small forward, Michael dropped to the second round of the 2001 NBA Draft where he was drafted by the New York Knicks.

After not joining the Knicks or any other NBA team post-draft, Wright moved overseas and switched teams almost every season.

Michael started with the Polish league champions Śląsk Wrocław, that also participated in the Euroleague, moving to Spain’s CB Granada the following year.

After the team was relegated to the LEB (Spain’s second division), Michael moved to Israel and signed with Hapoel Tel Aviv, and a year later with ALBA Berlin.

Michael passed away at age 35 in November 2015.