Michael Wright (basketball)

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Michael Wright
Michael Wright Mecz gwiazd PLK 2010.jpg
Wright (left) with the 2010 PLK All-Star game MVP award
Personal information
Born(1980-01-07)January 7, 1980
Chicago, Illinois
DiedNovember 10, 2015(2015-11-10) (aged 35)
Brooklyn, New York
NationalityAmerican / Turkish
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight238 lb (108 kg)
Career information
High schoolFarragut Academy
(Chicago, Illinois)
CollegeArizona (1998–2001)
NBA draft2001 / Round: 2 / Pick: 39th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Playing career2001–2015
PositionPower forward
Career history
2001–2002Śląsk Wrocław
2003–2004Hapoel Tel Aviv
2004–2005Alba Berlin
2005–2006Beşiktaş Cola Turka
2006Jeonju KCC Egis
2006–2007Pau Orthez
2007–2009Turk Telekom
2009–2010Turów Zgorzelec
2010–2011Medical Park Trabzonspor
2011–2012Turk Telekom
2012–2014Mersin BB
2015Cholet Basket
Career highlights and awards

Michael Wright (January 7, 1980 – November 10, 2015) was an American–Turkish professional basketball player. He also held Turkish citizenship. His Turkish name was Ali Karadeniz.[1][2]

High school career[edit]

Wright played his high school basketball at Farragut Academy, where, as a freshman, he 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 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in), Wright played center after Garnett's departure, and moved to power forward in college.

College career[edit]

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[citation needed], and too slow to be a small forward,[citation needed]he dropped to the second round of the 2001 NBA draft where he was drafted by the New York Knicks.

Professional career[edit]

Wright was drafted as the 39th pick in the 2001 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. After not joining the Knicks or any other NBA team, Wright moved overseas and switched teams almost every season. He started with 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), Wright moved to Israel and signed with Hapoel Tel Aviv, and a year later with ALBA Berlin.

In 2005, he moved to Beşiktaş Cola Turka of the Turkish Basketball League. He started the 2006–07 season in South Korea with Jeonju KCC Egis, in October signed with French and Euroleague's EB Pau Orthez.

In May 2007, he moved back to Turkey and signed for Türk Telekom B.K.. In September 2009 he has signed a contract with Turów Zgorzelec from Poland for 2009–10 season.[3]

In July 2011, he returned to Türk Telekom B.K. for one season with an option for a second one.[4]

In the summer of 2012, he signed a contract with Mersin BB.[5]

On February 3, 2015, he signed with Cholet Basket of the French LNB Pro A.[6] After averaging 1.7 points and 2 rebounds in 3 contests, Wright and Cholet parted ways.[7]


On November 10, 2015, Wright was found dead in his sport utility vehicle in Brooklyn, New York, covered in trash bags in the vehicle's back seat. The medical examiner determined that his death was a homicide.[8][9][10] Two men were charged in his death.[11]

According to a family member interviewed after his death, Wright intended to return to Europe to play another two seasons before retirement.[8]

Two men were charged on November 1, 2016: Mark A. Holdbrooks, 59, and alleged accomplice David Victor, 35, have been charged with murder and other offenses after a yearlong investigation. Holdbrooks, Wright's longtime roommate, allegedly reported him missing on November 8, 2015. Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal did not specify a motive or mention how Wright was killed but said he had suffered "head trauma." [12]


  1. ^ Michael Wright got Turkish citizenship[dead link]
  2. ^ "Michael Wright become Ali Karadeniz". Salsabasket.blogspot.com. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  3. ^ Ostatnie wzmocnienia w PGE Turowie Archived December 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Turk Telekom Ankara announces Michael Wright". Sportando.net. July 13, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  5. ^ "Mersin lands Ali Karadeniz". Sportando.net. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  6. ^ "Cholet lands Michael Wright". Sportando.com. February 3, 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  7. ^ Michael Wright leaves Cholet
  8. ^ a b DeLessio, Joe (November 12, 2015). "Police Treating Former Knicks Draft Pick's Death As a Homicide". New York Magazine. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  9. ^ "Arizona basketball: Ex-Wildcat Michael Wright dead at 35". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  10. ^ "Former Farragut star Michael Wright, 35, found dead in Brooklyn". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  11. ^ Two charged in ex-Arizona forward Michael Wright's 2015 death
  12. ^ Roommate Allegedly Killed Former NBA Prospect then Accepted Donations for His Daughter: Police

External links[edit]