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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Stettler District Music Festival has been cancelled

The event normally runs for nine days and can attract hundreds of entries

Former Stettler resident helps to develop a potential prototype ventilator

Peter Brockley, who now lives in the West Kootenays, was a teacher at William E. Hay Secondary Campus

Non-profits that are helping people impacted by COVID-19 can apply for relief funding

Red Deer and District FCSS can draw from a provincial pot of $30 million

No Alberta renter will be evicted for non-payment on April 1, promises the premier

No evictions during the entire Alberta public health emergency

A Message From the Publisher – ‘We will do our best, but without local advertising revenue, The Stettler Independent cannot survive’

‘We will do our best, but without local advertising revenue, The Stettler Independent cannot survive’

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

A message from Central Alberta Co-op

Please remember to practice social distancing at all our locations.

Families urge action to get Canadians home from cruise ship stuck off Panama

1,243 passengers and 586 crew on board and more tests are being done every day

Canada could face legal trouble over refugee deportations: advocates

Deputy Prime Minister Freeland holding ‘urgent’ discussions with U.S. officials

Regions brace to fight rising flood waters and cases of COVID-19

Pontiac is one of dozens of flood-prone regions bracing for the possibility of rising waters

Most Read