Former Hoya Chris Wright hosts MS charity game
Chris Wright has been playing basketball since he could walk, a skill briefly taken from him last year in Turkey, when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The 23 year-old starred at St. John’s College High School, was a three-time First Team All-Met selection, a McDonald’s All- American and a star point guard at Georgetown University. Last season Wright earned a ten-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks, making him the first NBA player to play with the disease.
This weekend the 6’1” point guard will return to his high school and take the floor for a cause much greater than a basketball game.
The first annual “Chris Wright’s MS Basketball Jamboree,” a charity event to raise awareness about MS will take place Saturday at St. John’s College High School with the majority of the proceeds going to charity.
“There’s so many people that don’t know anything about MS and don’t know exactly how it effects people,” Wright said in a phone interview with CSNwashington, “so it’s just to get the message out there and have people understand that this is a serious disease.”
Multiple Sclerosis attacks the central nervous system and can have debilitating effects. Wright says he still deals with occasional symptoms like numbness or tingling and takes medication to prevent “episodes.” Although there is no cure for the disease, thanks to medicine Wright’s condition is manageable.
As serious as the disease is, Wright hopes Saturday will be fun.
The event begins at 11a.m. and includes a high school game and professional game that touts NBA players like Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, and Wright’s former Georgetown teammates Greg Monroe, Austin Freeman and Jason Clark.
Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III, who is expected to attend, says Wright’s ability to still pursue his career despite dealing with the MS is indicative of his character.
“Anyone that knows Chris knows he attacks things head on, so for him not to be dejected about the disease and to still pursue his goals and raise awareness at the same time, I’m not surprised at all,” Thompson said to CSNwashington in a phone interview.
MS specialist Dr. Heidi Crayton, who is Wright’s personal doctor, will address the audience between games and the National MS Chapter of DC will have an information booth with giveaways. “dreaMakerS” a charity organization designed to support children with parents with MS will also be in attendance.
For Wright Saturday’s goal is simple.
“We raise a lot of money, a lot of families and kids come out and it runs smoothly and everyone has fun,” he said, “and while having fun, and playing basketball…understand that it’s for a good cause and hopefully we can find a cure to this thing.”