Torero transfer: Isaiah Wright joins basketball team

Isaiah Wright, a 20-year-old junior guard on the University of San Diego basketball team proudly declares he has always wanted to be just like his father, Archie Wright. Archie, a former Boise State University baller, played college hoops from 1989-92 and averaged over 19 minutes per game during his career.

From the moment Isaiah could hold a basketball, his father largely participated in his love for the sport. Actually, this Boise State star influenced his whole family.

Wright has two siblings who both played at junior colleges, one in Seattle, Wash. and the other in Olympia, Wash. Because his family was so involved, Wright excitedly admitted that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his old man and pursue the chance to play NCAA hoops.

“Growing up being a basketball family, I wanted to join right in and be like my dad,” Wright said.

Wright is the first of his siblings to take his talents all the way to a four-year college. When it came time to select his future home, he had a tough decision to make. He could venture off and create his own path, or follow in the foot steps of his father and don the blue and orange colors of Boise State. Although Wright’s father left a legacy in Boise, he expressed that his father never pressured him into anything.

Offers from University of Utah, Santa Clara University, Boise State, and many more, left Wright with a tough decision to make, but unconditional support from his family helped him choose the University of Utah.

“Boise State was recruiting me hard,” Wright said. “But I wanted to try something new. I wanted to make a name for myself.”

Although this 6-foot-2-inch tall, 180-pound guard averaged over 12 minutes per game at Utah, he is now a Torero. Wright is a junior transfer student new to the USD campus and the San Diego community.

He is redshirting this season, meaning he practices with the team, but he will not play or travel with the team for away games. He has only been here for a few weeks and, at first, was overwhelmed by the city’s vastness, but he has since become used to it.

“[It] is a lot smaller than San Diego, but I am learning the area, and I like it a lot,” Wright said. “I have good teammates that have made me feel comfortable.”

One of Wright’s priorities when it comes to playing ball is forming a tight relationship with his coaches and team. Unfortunately, for him this wasn’t the case with head coach Larry Krystkowiak at Utah. He expressed that he had problems with his coaches and felt left out of the program.


Isaiah Wright arrives at the University of San Diego this year after spending two years as a student athlete on the University of Utah basketball team. Photo courtesy of USD Men’s Basketball/Twitter

“My experience there wasn’t good, so I wanted to prove to myself that I can really play,” Wright said. “I’d like to say I’m a good player, but that’s because of all the hard work I put in.”

This dedicated basketball player luckily got picked up by second year assistant coach, Sam Scholl. Scholl, formerly a coach at Santa Clara, developed a tight bond with Wright while trying to recruit him out of high school.

When Smith heard that Wright was transferring, he jumped at the opportunity to add him to the backcourt here at USD.

His family was very supportive about his decision to transfer, while reminding him that the most important part of the plan is to get a degree.

With that in mind, Wright would also like to take basketball as far as he can. Whether that means going overseas or playing professionally, Wright said he is keeping his options open.

“It’s always been my dream to go to the NBA; that’s everyone’s dream,” Wright said. “I know it’s a slim chance, but I’m going for it.”

Although Wright has big aspirations, he doesn’t shy away from a backup plan. He explained that he is majoring in communication studies, and, if his basketball career doesn’t pan out, he would like to be a sports journalist or broadcaster.

Sports are more than just a game for Wright. He enjoys playing the game, but  he also likes to watch and talk about them as well. This cerebral approach to the game will be welcomed by a young Torero team that will feature only one senior for the 2016-17 season.

Continuing this dedication to the game excites Wright. He’s looking forward to the future when he can represent USD’s men’s basketball team and make his family proud.

Written by Lindsey Aiello, Contributor