What a wild ride it’s been for Ryan Wright, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound power forward from Loyola Catholic in Mississauga, Ontario. The No. 54 ranked player in the class of 2005 climbed up the recruiting charts over the summer and after a well-played and well-informed recruitment, he has accepted a scholarship offer to play for one of the most storied basketball programs in the United States.
Wright verbally committed to UCLA on Monday night. He was also considering Michigan State and Stanford. The genuinely humble prospect said he felt like he knew where he wanted to go after his second trip to Los Angeles on October 2.
“After I came back from UCLA I kind of knew that they led for me. I think I kind of knew that the whole time,” Wright said. “I wanted to go everywhere though and ask all of the questions I could ask because that is just the kind of person I am. I didn’t want to have any regrets. So going on all of the trips helped me compare the schools. When I sat down with my parents last night, I thought UCLA was the best place for me.”
Wright is the second player to pledge to the Bruins, joining point guard Darren Collison. The duo is a nice addition to a stellar class of 2004 class. The accumulation of talent was one of the reasons he’s headed to SoCal.
“I felt comfortable with the guys at UCLA. Ben Howland and his staff are doing the right things there. I believe they are doing what needs to be done to turn the program around and make it better,” Wright said. “That was just the vibe I got and I felt like they needed me to come in there and do all the things they need me to do. That’s a big challenge and I feel like I’m going to get better because of that.”
Rivals.com first saw Wright in April at Charlie Weber’s Capitol Invitational and came away impressed with his athleticism and aggressiveness in between the blocks. Wright came alive at the NBA Players Association camp in June, where he was one of the top players at the camp. Then he capped off his summer with solid play at Nike camp and in Las Vegas. He gives the Bruins a talented player to help with it’s frontline.
“It’s a situation where I can come in and contribute right away and help build on that UCLA tradition,” Wright said.