Alex Conover

McKinley Wright is starting fresh

Minnesota’s 2017 Mr. Basketball is McKinley Wright of Champlin Park. The Rebel point guard is a nationally ranked top 200 talent who was signed with Dayton but a coaching change at Dayton has changed everything.

On March 25th of 2017, the day that McKinleyWright was leading his undefeated Rebels (31-0 at the time) into the state title game, Wright found out that morning that the coach he was going to play for, Archie Miller, had left the University of Dayton for Indiana. 

Everything has been a whirlwind since.

The Rebels lost the state title game but McKinley, who averaged 22.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.6 assists, and 2.3 steals a game against one of the state’s best schedules, earned himself multiple player of the year honors including Minnesota Mr. Basketball, Star Tribune Metro Player of the year, NHR Senior of the Year, and others.

With Miller moving on to Dayton it was time for Wright to think twice about his future.  In the past few days he made the decision to ask for his release from Dayton and he received that release yesterday.

“Many of you know about the current circumstances with the head coaching change at the (University of Dayton) which has caused me to have a lot of conversations and thoughts about my current college choice,” Wright said.

“After talking with my family, friends, and Coach Al Harris I decided to request my release from Dayton and reopen my recruitment.

“Dayton remains a program that I will strongly consider.  I feel that it’s in my best interests to explore all opportunities with the current change of events.”

Wright definitely still has Dayton in play as he met with new Dayton Coach Anthony Grant last Thursday.  McKinley is just starting to go through recruiting once again and the door is wide open.  Right now he’s open to new programs and thanking those that have supported him.

“I thank all those that have reached out recently in this difficult time.  I can assure you wherever I end up that program will receive the best student athlete I can be.”

There is no doubt about that.  Wright is a player that is loved by his coaches, teammates, and fans alike.  He is also second to none when it comes to effort on and off the floor.  His performances in big games left no doubt that he was Mr. Basketball and in the classroom Wright greatly improved himself every single semester.

So now the question is, where does he go?  Wright has only taken two official visits (Dayton and Minnesota last fall) so he has three left to take.  A tidal wave of calls have come in to Wright and his coach already.

“McKinley has head from Dayton, Western Kentucky, UNLV, Indiana, Butler, UCLA, Baylor, Tennessee, Colorado, Minnesota, Seton Hall, LSU, Utah, and others,” Coach Harris said.

“There are many more than that in just a few hours.”

An estimate of 40 to 50 programs called but the list above is what we believe that McKinley will consider and who is strongly considering him.

The question “what about Minnesota” has been asked on every social media outlet available to fans.  Gopher assistant Coach Ben Johnson called Wright shortly after he received his scholarship release. 

At this point Minnesota is simply among the long list of others that have called and Wright is just in the very, very early stages of his spring recruitment so no decisions of leaders, visits, or anything else have been made. 

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