Marquise Wright was always all business when it came to playing basketball at Southern Nash High. The Firebirds’ four-year varsity starter is taking the same approach when it comes to the next part of his career.
Wright signed a National Letter of Intent last week to play for Davidson County Community College of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III ranks. Wright, who was named to the all-Big East Conference and the North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association all-District 3 teams the last three years, weighed an offer from Averett (Virginia) University, an NCAA Division II program, as well as interest from Wake Tech of the NJCAA and Div. III North Carolina Wesleyan College.
“From a financial standpoint, it was a lot better than any other college I could have gone to and their program has been nationally ranked for the past eight years,” Wright said of Davidson.
In March, the Storm made their third trip to the NJCAA Div. II Elite Eight since 2010, losing in the national semifinals. Three Davidson players have been named NJCAA Div. II All-Americans.
Wright, a 6-foot-2 combination guard, was the linchpin of the Firebirds attack for the past two seasons, including this past winter when they won the Big East tournament and reached the third round of the state 3-A playoffs. Wright averaged 16.3 points,11.2 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.3 assists.
“He’s probably one of the easiest kids I’ve ever coached. I never had to worry about him not being ready to practice,” Firebirds head coach Robbie Kennedy said. “We’re going to miss him.”
Wright said the committment to helping Southern Nash have its best season in more than a decade came right after his junior season ended earlier than hoped.“It all started last year after my junior season because I was disappointed in the season that we had,” said Wright, who repeated as a Wilson Times All-Area selection as a senior. “I just wanted to make sure with my teammates that we didn’t make the same mistakes that we did the year before.”
Wright said that he hopes to work his way into the lineup at Davidson.
“I’m just going there to develop into a better play than I am,” he said. “Just working on every little thing because in college I’m going to have to shoot a lot.”
The son of Mary Wright and Craig Washington of Bailey, Wright said he plans on majoring in sports management at a four-year college and continuing his basketball career after his two years at Davidson are up.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said, “and honestly, I’m looking forward to the challenge.”