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.

Just Posted

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

RED resort announces new ski lift

Topping lift will add new ski area to resort, reduce bottleneck on Motherload chair

Update: Bodies recovered from Pend d’Oreille River crash

To help support the family, a fundraiser has been set up at Kootenay Savings in Fruitvale

South Okanagan-Kootenay MP calls federal budget ‘not bold enough’

Richard Cannings, MP for South OK and Kootenay communities says budget missed the mark

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Cheetahs will not prosper in Creston: Permit rejected for two big cats

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

GM announces jobs, electric vehicle after Trump criticism

The company says it will spend $300 million at its plant in Orion Township

Trucker who caused Broncos crash likely to be deported: lawyer

The Crown has asked that Sidhu serve 10 years in prison

China chemical plant blast kills 47, injures hundreds more

This is one of China’s worst industrial accidents in recent years

Montreal priest stabbed while celebrating morning mass

The incident happened Friday morning at Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory

Organic Matters tea recalled across B.C. due to Salmonella

Recall for OM tea products is B.C. wide, possibly national.

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Most Read