Friday 13 November 2015


Brooklyn (WABC) -- Police are investigating the murder of a former New York Knicks draft pick.

35-year old Michael Wright was found dead inside his SUV on East 16th Street Tuesday in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

An autopsy will determine his cause of death.

"It's just a really good guy gone," said Dave Paladino, Wright's personal trainer.

Investigators say he had a suspicious wound on his head and the medical examiner confirms this case is now being investigated as a homicide.

Farragut basketball coach William "Wolf" Nelson always had a close connection with Michael Wright during Wright's high school years.

In fact, they were neighbors near the West Side school.

"Michael and I lived about a block apart from each other," Nelson said. "He lived on the opposite side of me; our buildings actually faced each other. It was funny. When I would come home, Michael would call me because he would see my lights on. That's how close we lived to each other when he was going to Farragut."

The former standout for the Admirals and the University of Arizona was found dead in his car Tuesday in Brooklyn, N.Y. The 6-foot-8 Wright was found with a head wound and was covered "with what appeared to be be trash bags covering his body" in the back of his car on Tuesday morning, police said.

Wright, 35, was reported missing from his suburban home in Closter, N.J., on Thursday, police said.

New York City police had gone to the Midwood section of Brooklyn to search for him after a request from New Jersey police.

The medical examiner has ruled Wright's death a homicide. There have been no arrests.

Wright, who played college basketball at the University of Arizona, was drafted by the Knicks in 2001, but never made the roster.

"Basketball was his life, but his greatest accomplishment he told me was his daughter," Paladino said. "Always smiling, everybody in here is devastated over the loss."

"Just a nice guy, I can't say enough how nice this guy was, it's just horrible," said Michael Rosensweet, the victim's friend. "I'll always remember him as like, being a nice guy, a caring guy, a genuine guy, and somebody who is just a special human being you know, that's how he should be remembered."

Wright also played in a France basketball league in the mid-2000s:

His sudden and mysterious death which is now being investigated as a homicide now has countless people heartbroken.

"It's sad, it's shocking, and your heart goes out to his family," Rosensweet said.

The coach at the University of Arizona says news of Michael's death is hitting the entire campus hard. "It's devastating and it certainly affects our basketball program, a lot of his teammates and former players and coaches when something like that happens at such a young age and you don't have all the answers," said Coach Sean Miller. "You just feel horrible."

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