In this Clemson flashback we take a trip back to the nineties. Today we take a look at two time All-ACC player, 1993 All-ACC tournament player, and sixth overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft, Sharone Wright.
Back in the early nineties, Wright solidified himself in Clemson history as not only one of the greatest big men, but also one of the best overall players to ever play at Clemson. Standing at 6-foot-11, the center was a force in the paint in all three of his collegiate seasons, averaging double digits in rebounds his last two seasons.
Wright was the defensive anchor for Cliff Ellis’ team. He played stellar defense and averaged 2.3 blocks a game his freshman year. By his sophomore year, Wright had improved that number to 4.1 blocks a game. By the end of his career he had led the ACC in blocks per game from 1991 to 1993, along with being third all-time in blocks per game in the ACC with 3.1. He’s still fifth overall in that category all-time in the ACC.
Wright was born in Macon, Georgia and was recruited by Clemson to come play in 1990 where he spent the next three years before entering the NBA draft in 1994. A 1994 class that was headlined by the likes of Jason Kidd, Grant Hill, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard and Eddie Jones.
Wright was selected sixth overall by the Philadelphia 76ers. He had the opportunity to play alongside Dana Barros while there. He averaged 11.4 points per game his rookie season, earning himself All-Rookie Second Team honors. He played in Philadelphia until he was traded during the 1995-96 season to the Toronto Raptors.
The 1995-96 season was the Raptors first year in the NBA and gave Wright the opportunity to play alongside rookie Damon Stoudamire and 25 year old Doug Christie. He contributed 16.5 points and 5.2 rebounds over 11 games.
Wright stayed with Toronto until the 1997-98 season, when he got into a severe car crash in Macon, Georgia. It left him with two broken arms as well as a broken collarbone.
His car skidded off the road on a rain drenched morning while on his way to speak at a basketball camp for the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown. The accident ended his NBA career.
The recovery period was long. He played only seven more games in the NBA, then went on to play professionally in Europe and even parts of Asia for almost a decade. However, he was never the same player and it was not the NBA. After his playing career concluded he went into coaching.
As for his career at Clemson, Wright will always be known by Tiger fans as a dominant rim protector, dominant on the glass, and one of the best Clemson players of all-time.