Micheal Wright runs with the ball in this undated handout photo. Micheal Wright plans to bring some NBA-style finesse to the Special Olympics World Summer Games this spring. Wright is the only Canadian out of 12 Special Olympics athletes competing in a Unified Sports game with players from the NBA and WNBA on Friday as part of the league’s all-star weekend in Charlotte, N.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Ross MacHattie, Special Olympics Canada)

Canadian Special Olympics athlete to play at NBA all-star weekend

Wright is the only Canadian out of 12 Special Olympics athletes competing in a Unified Sports game

Micheal Wright plans to bring some NBA-style finesse to the Special Olympics World Summer Games this spring.

Wright is the only Canadian out of 12 Special Olympics athletes competing in a Unified Sports game with players from the NBA and WNBA on Friday as part of the league’s all-star weekend in Charlotte, N.C.

Wright, from Mississauga, Ont., wants to meet Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard and Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and ask them for advice ahead of the Special Olympics World Games.

“That’s what I’m hoping for, to take some tips and bring it to the worlds and probably perfecting it,” said Wright. “Not that what they do isn’t 100 per cent perfect, but I want to make it my own.”

READ MORE: Visually-impaired Okanagan skier pumped for Canada Winter Games

The 26-year-old point guard helped the Mississauga Storm win the national championship earlier this year. The team will represent Canada at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, starting on March 14.

The Special Olympics World Games is an international sporting competition for athletes with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Getting to play with professional basketball players and represent Canada internationally in the same year has been a thrilling experience for Wright.

“It’s an honour and amazing that I’m the only Canadian at the all-star weekend,” said Wright. “I thought there would be two, maybe three, other Canadians. But it’s amazing and it’s an honour and I really appreciate it.

“I’m a little nervous to go to Abu Dhabi and see who we’re going to be playing against.”

Wright’s trip to the NBA all-star weekend came together quickly. He was approached by coach Wayne Meyer after a Storm practice with the opportunity and within 24 hours they had put together a YouTube video and written an essay with the help of his aunt Kimberly Wright, who will accompany him to Charlotte.

A week later, Micheal Wright got a call at home telling him that he’d been selected for the Unified Game. After telling his cousin and calling his aunt to spread the good news Wright went to his bedroom to lie down and absorb what was happening.

“I had to take a moment for myself and breathe. It was something,” said Wright. “I honestly panicked, I was so happy. My cousin was at home too and she was starting to wonder what was going on. My family is just really happy for me.”

READ MORE: 13-year-old B.C. hockey player quits team over bullying

Meyer feels that the decision to nominate Wright to go to the NBA all-star weekend was the right choice, especially after seeing how well the Special Olympics athlete has handled the extra training and responsibilities associated with the trip. More than anything, Meyer is impressed by Wright’s humility.

“The great thing about it is even with his teammates on the Storm, he doesn’t have that bragging mentality,” said Meyer. “Even at practices he doesn’t really talk much about it, but you know it’s there. When we talk about it, the excitement’s there.

“He’s the perfect athlete to be sending down (to Charlotte). I’m proud of him, I’m happy for his aunt, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment.”

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OK Corral Cabaret owner permanently closes Langley bar

Nightclub showcased local talent, connected friends, and even hosted a wedding during its 34 years

Kelowna’s Rock the Lake officially postponed until 2021

The new dates have been scheduled for August 6-8, 2021

Kelowna man charged with murder of Alberta man

A second man is also wanted in connection with the first degree murder of Cody Michaloski

New ‘smart city’ 5G technology to be installed in Kelowna next week

‘This is an exciting opportunity for Kelowna to build on the work we’re doing to bring smart city technologies to our city’ - Mayor Colin Basran

Central Okanagan schools ready to welcome students back

Students are set to go back to school next Monday, June 1

Kelowna couple pedalling past loss of sight

Pauline and Jim Marshall said it’s important to be patient with each other

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

Only 35 per cent of students returning to Vernon schools

Only 30 per cent of secondary students going back June 1 and 50 per cent of elementary

Princeton officially becomes ’Bronze Statue Capital of Canada’

“We are going to come out of this fine.” That’s the opinion… Continue reading

LETTER: Summerland solar project should be reviewed

Questions raised about feasibility of proposed power project

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Pregnant Revelstoke woman catches COVID-19 days before giving birth

Michelle Hunter said she felt like she was in a horror movie when she discovered she had COVID-19

Vernon chamber backs council’s opposition of downtown overdose prevention site

The chamber sent a letter to B.C.’s health minister calling for the site not to be located downtown

Princeton RCMP stop men intent on jumping off bridge

Princeton RCMP investigating a trespassing complaint arrived in time to stop two… Continue reading

Most Read