UD’s Wright not giving up on NBA goal

Flyers forward exploring options after being snubbed on draft day.

Chris Wright had a difficult time after not being picked during the NBA draft on Thursday, but he didn’t need long to shake his disappointment.

The University of Dayton star said he actually had a dream about the draft as he slept that night. And while that version didn’t turn out any better — he was overlooked again — he woke up with a renewed attitude.

“It was cool,” he said. “It was God basically telling me it’s real, but don’t give up. You still have a chance.

“Just because you didn’t get drafted, that doesn’t mean the door is closed to the NBA. ... Everybody’s path is a little different. It’s just my story is going to be a little bit longer than somebody else’s.”

Wright likely will have options as a free agent, and he’s fielded a few exploratory calls but hasn’t made any commitments. There’s also the possibility of playing professionally outside the U.S.

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Complicating matters, though, is the NBA’s labor situation. A lockout is looming when the collective bargaining agreement expires June 30, and the NBA has cancelled its summer leagues, limiting the chance for free agents to gain valuable exposure.

“I just want someone to take a chance on me,” Wright said. “There’s some teams that are really interested. The draft was just the beginning.”

Although not hearing his name called was joyless, Wright did find a couple of reasons to cheer during the draft.

“Of course, I’m really happy for Norris,” Wright said, referring to former Dunbar High School star Norris Cole, who was taken in the first round and traded twice before winding up with the Miami Heat. “He’s a guy who worked hard. A lot of people, when he came out of high school, didn’t give him a chance at all. I’m happy he’s on a team, and he’ll do well because he works hard.

“That’s really the only time during the draft that I smiled and clapped.”

He then thought of another instance.

“I clapped when Kemba went,” he said, meaning the University of Connecticut’s Kemba Walker, the top pick of the Charlotte Bobcats. “That’s my homey.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2125 or dharris@DaytonDailyNews.com.

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