McKinley Wright became my favorite Minnesota High School basketball player to watch in the Spring of 2016 while he played AAU for Adidas D1 Minnesota. The amount of control he had on the offense and defense of the team stood out to me what type of player he was. From that point on I was admittedly a biased fan of his.
When I started doing basketball highlights I was largely focused on NBA, and the Minnesota Timberwolves but I wanted to do a video of Wright’s 46 point game vs DeLaSalle. I reached out to Wright for his Hudl info, and put together the video and posted in March 2017. After the season was over Wright asked me to do a video of his season, that video is below.
July 30th, 2021 McKinley Wright signed as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Timberwolves on a 2-way deal. If anything about Wright’s path to this point tells you anything, it’s that this won’t be his end point. From his start people have said he’s too small to compete at each level he’s competed at being just six feet. At each stop, high school, AAU, college, he’s overcome that criticism and achieved more than they said he could.
At Champlin Park Wright was on Varsity as a Freshman, an accomplishment for at Champlin Park since Champlin is an ultra competitive program. Wright was developing a reputation, small but expositive guard who was a leader, relentless defender and worker. By Senior year in 2016-17 Wright was leading Champlin Park to state running the whole show and proving doubters wrong along side fellow D1 recruit big man Theo John.
Rivals and other recruiting services put Wright as a 2 Star/3 Star guard and put rival from Maple Grove Brad Davison slightly higher than him. While Davison was a better high school shooter, he wasn’t the defender Wright is, or have the athletic explosiveness.
Both were offered by Minnesota, but both went on to different schools. Davison chose Wisconsin and is about to start his 5th year there, Wright was stiffed by hometown Minnesota Gophers when Minnesota locked in Isaiah Washington, 4 Star guard from New York. Soon as Minnesota obtained that commitment from Washington Wright committed to Dayton.
Wright however never played at Dayton because Dayton coach Archie Miller bolted for Indiana, and Wright re-opened his recruitment. In April of 2017 Wright may not have known it at the time but found a perfect match in Colorado. At Colorado Wright averaged 14 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal a game for his career while starting 130 of 131 games. He also claimed Pac-12 All-Freshman honors, 1st Team All-Pac-12 in his Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years, and collected all-Team defense honors.
Each stop of Wright’s basketball career has been doubters that he wasn’t “good enough.” They’d say he’s good, but just not the next level good. Each stop he’s proven those doubters wrong. From being underrated as a high school prospect to people saying he wouldn’t be able to make an NBA roster. Last thing is making an NBA roster, and that could be something to happen as soon as this NBA season.