From Warehouse Worker to a PBA Superstar

Image via FIBA Basketball

Matthew Wright is one of the biggest superstars in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). He was drafted by Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters in 2016. Before becoming a two-time PBA All-Star and PBA All-Star MVP, Matthew Wright went through hardships and humble beginnings. 

Matthew Andrew Cristopher Wright was born in Toronto, Ontario on February 7, 1991. He is the son of Chris and Ofelia Wright. At a young age, he was exposed to the Filipino and basketball community. He started playing basketball at age 10. Wright attended Martingrove Collegiate Institute and joined the high school basketball team in the Martingrove Bears. In his senior year, he averaged 23 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocks per game. 

After graduating from high school, Wright chose to go to St. Bonaventure University. For Matthew Wright, he battled growth pains in college basketball. In his freshman year at St. Bonaventure Bonnies, he only averaged 4.7 points per game. He then devoted himself to be a better basketball player for the next 3 seasons. In his senior year, he quadrupled his stats and averaged 16.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. 

The NBA Draft 2014 was around the corner after he graduated from St. Bonaventure University. Sadly, he went undrafted and took his talents overseas. Before signing a contract with a French team, Wright was flipping boxes and working in a Rexdale/ Martingrove warehouse. He wanted to provide for his firstborn child and family. He eventually signed a professional contract to play for the French Club Quimper. Unfortunately, his relationship with his coach in France turned sour and his career was short-lived. “At that time, I was just, I just had my first son, Preston right out of college. So, I really needed work, I really needed money and any which way I could support him,” Wright mentioned in an interview with Pinoy Bounce, a Filipino basketball show.

Wright was persistent and once again went abroad. He played professional basketball in Malaysia where he cemented his professional career. Consequently, he was invited to play for the National team of the Philippines also known as Smart Gilas Pilipinas Team. In 2016, he entered the PBA draft and was picked by Phoenix Fuel Masters. He became a celebrity and superstar in the Philippines but he never forgets his humble upbringing. “Those were very humbling times there because it really gives me appreciation. I was able to really appreciate my time in Malaysia and the Philippines because of the time I spent in France and before that working on a factory,” Wright says. Matthew Wright’s transition to professional basketball is a great example of perseverance. 

Part 2 of Matthew Wright interview will premiere on December 25 on FTV

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