USA: Brandan Wright Spotlight

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Brandan Wright understands his role at the USA Basketball Youth Festival this week. He knows he'll have his chance to shine under the superstar spotlight – but that's going to have to wait until next year. And he's content with that.

Such is the case when you've got four of the top 10 rising seniors as teammates.

"It's just an honor to be playing with all these guys on our team," Wright said. "All of them are superstars. I just learn from them and they teach me as an underclassman and next year it'll be my turn."

Louis Williams, Tasmin Mitchell, Richard Hendrix and Keith Brumbaugh are taking the majority of the shots, so Wright is helping the team (4-0) however he can.

"Offensively, it's not like I wanted, but we've got a lot of great scorers on our team," Wright said. "I just accept the role they've given me. Coach put me out there to play defense, rebound and block shots and I think I've done that pretty well."

His averages through four games are 11.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and – officially – 1.0 blocks, but our unofficial count of his Saturday morning game total alone had him with 8 rejections, so take that 1.0 with many a grain of salt. He had highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds in the Saturday night semifinal, showing off an accurate mid-range game and consistent effort on the boards.

"Brandon Wright has been terrific here," said analyst Dave Telep, of TheInsidersHoops. "He's the first big guy that the South team uses off the bench and he's been coming to the game with energy and athleticism and been a factor in each game he played. It's the exact same role that Richard Hendrix played for the South last year and we can only assume at this point next year Wright will be doing what Hendrix is now."

Standing a long 6-9 and 190 pounds, Wright isn't close physically to where he'll need to be – he plans to add "at least 30 pounds" before the end of his high school career – and considering how good he already is at this stage, and his commitment to develop and get stronger, he's a safe bet for All-American status.

"I've been working on my shot since the basketball season," Wright said. "Working on my jump shot and ball handling skills. I've got a week to polish up again and then I'm off to Nike (Camp)."

When it comes to a school list, Wright has already put together five programs that stand above the rest of the pack.

"I have a top 5, in no particular order – Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana," he said. "Coaches from all those schools have come down to see me play games or workout. Mike Davis has been there, Rick Pitino, Coach K. Roy Williams hasn't been there yet, but their assistant, Steve Robinson, has. And Tubby Smith saw me workout.

"I'm just a rising junior so I have two years to decide."

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