It's not even Halloween and UCLA gets a very early Christmas present with the verbal commitment of four-star Ryan Wright (6-9, 225) from Misissauga (Ontario, Canada) Loyola. Wright is the type of player that the UCLA basketball staff has been working overtime trying to land. There is a smile from ear-to-ear on Bruin fans this evening.
"I am happy there is a lot of excitement surrounding UCLA basketball," Wright said. "I'm excited too."
"One of the things that I want to accomplish while I'm at UCLA is win a national championship," Wright said. "I feel confident that with Coach (Ben) Howland and the guys I'm going to be playing with that we are going to be able to do that."
Well that is sweet music to UCLA basketball fans from coast-to-coast and Canada too.
"It pretty much came down to my visits," Wright said. "I took all three so I would have something concrete to compare to."
"After my visit to UCLA, they pretty much led the whole way," Wright said. "I talked it over with my parents last night and when I added everything up UCLA was number one."
"I just needed a little time after the Stanford trip to make sure I was making the right decision," Wright said. "All three schools that I narrowed down to were great."
"It was a hard decision," Wright said. "The toughest thing for me was making the phone call the other two schools."
"I chose UCLA for a combination of things," Wright said. "I like the players they have on the team and the new players coming in like Jordan (Farmar), Josh (Shipp), Arron (Afflalo) and Lorenzo (Mata)."
"They remind me of my high school teammates," Wright said. "I felt comfortable with everyone on the team."
"UCLA is a big time program and it is in the process of achieving the greatness it once had," Wright said. "And to be able to be a big contributor was very important."
Wright is the complete basketball player. He will do the dirty work on the boards and he works hard on both ends of the floor.
Wright can hit the jumper in the 18-foot range. The good news is he has the work ethic to get better. Wright is very explosive inside and is near impossible to stop inside the paint/
Since Wright gets double and tripled teamed a lot he has become an excellent passer. He average four assists per game in 2003-04. Wright also averaged 19 points per game, nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
Now you know the reason Bruin fans are smiling wide tonight.
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