UD star Chris Wright adds ‘doughnut entrepreneur’ to his resumé

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UD star Chris Wright adds ‘doughnut entrepreneur’ to his resumé

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The University of Dayton’s Chris Wright slams one home against New Mexico at UD Arena on Jan. 1, 2011. FILE

Chris Wright knows that most folks think of him only as a basketball player.

And that’s understandable. The 6-foot-8 Trotwood native is one of the University of Dayton’s all-time greats, has played multiple seasons in the NBA, and at 28, is gearing up to play professionally again this year for his 7th season, either in the U.S. or overseas.

But there’s more to Chris Wright than just roundball.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mind,” Wright said in a telephone interview. “And I’ve always known basketball wasn’t going to define the rest of my life. Ultimately, I intend to be known as a businessman and an entrepreneur.”

That’s why Wright and another standout local athlete, former NFL and Ohio State standout Jeff Graham, have signed a deal to be co-franchise owners for Duck Donuts, which is gearing up top open its first Dayton-area location in a 1,240-square-foot former yogurt shop space at 1200 Brown Street near the entrance to UD’s campus.

3 more doughnut shops on the way in Dayton area

The pair and a third business partner plan to open two more locations in the region after the first store — now projected to open in mid-September — gets up and running.

“So many people love doughnuts, and in a different way than other food,” Wright said. He’s following a strict training regimen while preparing for the upcoming season, but admits to sneaking the occasional — very occasional — doughnut.

Duck Donuts’ UD location will be only the second store in Ohio for the Harrisburg, Pa.-based chain that got its start in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. A location in the Polaris Center in suburban Columbus opened to long lines in December.

Duck Donuts’ concept allows customers to customize their own doughnut, using a vanilla cake doughnut that is made fresh in front of the customer, who chooses his or her icings, sprinkles and other toppings.

Wright said he was impressed by the concept, business plan and enthusiastic reception Duck Donuts has received in other markets, and is looking forward to introducing the doughnuts to current UD students and Dayton residents.

Still, he’s not ready to hang up his basketball sneakers. “I’m not going to stop playing until I can’t walk,” he said, laughing. “I’ve got a lot of gas left in the tank.”

For more information or to track the progress of Duck Donuts’ UD store, check out the Duck Donuts (Dayton, OH) Facebook page.

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