Albany Academy graduate Hameir Wright will be playing big-time basketball sooner rather than later after signing a letter of intent with the University of Washington.
Wright, the Gatorade New York Player of the Year, had made plans to attend prep power Brewster Academy in New Hampshire for the 2017-18 academic year. Instead, the 6-foot-8 wing/small forward will be part of the first class recruited by new Huskies coach Mike Hopkins.
Wright signed on with Washington while visiting the institution this past weekend.
“I am honored to announce my commitment to Coach Hop and the University of Washington to continue my academic and athletic career,” Wright posted on his Twitter account.
Wright drew sustained interest from several Division I schools including Villanova, Maryland, Cincinnati, George Washington, James Madison and Syracuse, where Hopkins had been an assistant for 22 years before taking the Washington head coaching position in March. Hopkins continued to pursue the two-time Daily Gazette All-Area selection and career 1,000-point scorer upon joining the Huskies.
“Washington wasn’t in that group until Hop got the job,” Albany Academy coach Brian Fruscio said. “Hop recruited him hard when he was at Syracuse. It’s all about relationships.”
Washington’s incoming group will include Wright’s friend and City Rocks teammate Nahziah Carter, a 6-6 shooting guard from Bishop Kearney in Rochester and a nephew of Jay-Z. Carter had originally committed to play at Dayton, but opted out after Flyers’ coach Archie Miller left for Indiana.
Wright averaged 17.0 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.9 blocks this season in leading the Cadets (17-5) to their second straight New York Federation Tournament of Champions Class A title. He was named the tournament’s most valuable player for the second time, and was picked as the Class A player of the year by the New York State Sportswriters Association after sharing the award as a junior.
“First off, I’d like to thank my close friends and family, especially my mother, for sacrificing so much and giving me endless support throughout my life,” Wright posted on his Twitter account. “I’d also like to thank the City Rocks for giving me the chance to showcase my talents the past four years and The Albany Academies and coach Fruscio for helping me develop academically and athletically during my high school career. Lastly I’d like to thank the abundance of high-major programs who have extended scholarships and interest in me during this process.”
Wright recorded nine double-doubles as a senior, his last with 16 points and 11 rebounds in a 76-46 Federation title-game win over Walton. When the Cadets beat Irondequoit in the Federation semifinals 54-45, he had 22 points and 9 rebounds.
“He wanted to make a decision and move forward,” Fruscio said. “I’m excited for him.”
Washington went 2-16 in the Pac-12 and 9-22 overall last season. Washington’s Markelle Fultz, who averaged 23.2 points as a freshman last season, was the No. 1 selection by the Philadelphia 76ers in last week’s NBA draft.