Ohio forward Chris Wright is getting a lot of attention these days. In the last couple of weeks Illinois, Notre Dame, Dayton, Clemson, Michigan and Michigan State have all either called or visited the rising Ohio star. For the Wolverines, both headman Tommy Amaker and assistant Mike Jackson have made their way down to Trotwood. While Wright and his mom already know Jackson pretty well from his time at Dayton, they are just now starting to get a feel for Amaker. Things couldn't be going much better. "It went well," Wright said of Amaker's attendance at a recent open gym. "I've really been talking to him about everything except for basketball. Coach Amaker is a down to earth guy. He told me I am a top priority and he talked to me about getting my degree. Coach Amaker is just an old school guy that is very funny."
Getting to know more about the programs and the coaches that run them is a top priority for Wright and his mom, Ernestine Grigsby. That makes the unofficial visits that they have taken (and will take) a very important part of the process. While the colleges are trying to figure out a way to recruit her son, Ms. Grigsby is busy gaining insight into the programs and figuring out the best fit for him. It's clear from speaking with her that style without substance won't get very far. "The unofficial visit always tells a story," Ms. Grigsby explained. "I want to get a feel for the schools that benefit him the most…the school that will take care of him the best. [Facilities] are not the most important thing in our decision making because you can have nice facilities and be weak in academics. No one can guarantee my son he is going to the NBA, but I do want to hear about my son getting his degree. That is very important."
The Wright family has visited nearby Dayton a number of times over the years and has tripped to Ann Arbor a couple of times over the past few months. Last week the Michigan State Spartans received their first visit from the talented prospect. By all accounts, things went well. "We had a very nice visit up at State," Ms. Grigsby said. "I had a chance to talk to coach Izzo. He reminds me of B.G. (Brian Gregory head coach at Dayton and former State assistant). Coach Izzo is a down to earth kind of guy".
Chris echoed many of his mom's sentiments about the trip to East Lansing. "They have very nice facilities at State," Wright said. "Coach Izzo is alright too…and he is well respected".
Despite the interest from the Green and White, the two schools that look to be sticking out at this point are Dayton and Michigan. When Wright and his mom speak of Coaches Gregory and Jackson, you hear the great admiration in their voices.
While Jackson was at Dayton he was pivotal in establishing very firm footing in Wright's recruitment that the Flyers now enjoy. The personal relationship that was forged between the newest UM assistant and the Wright family was so strong that his presence in Ann Arbor immediately made the Wolverines a player. That's why Ms. Grigsby was so upset by a recent interview that implied Michigan may have less of a shot at her son because her disappointment over Jackson's departure from Dayton. "That interview was not what I meant at all," Ms Grigsby said. "I was disappointed that Coach Jackson left, but he is still my guy. In the future I will be very careful about giving out interviews…if I give out any at all. I didn't like the way that interview went".
As far as his recruitment goes, Chris and his mom would like to get their list trimmed down by the end of the year. At that point they'll be able to place more focus on the schools that they have interest in.
The schools still in the hunt for Chris Wright ought to know about Ms. Grigsby
by now. If they come to see her about her son, they better come correct. If
you don't, she will let them know!