“As a parent, I’m proud of what Zeke has achieved athletically but moreso academically and as a person,” said Mike Wright, Wildcat basketball head coach and Zeke’s father. “He’s got good work ethic, and I’m just proud of him as a father all-around.”
Coach Wright noted how difficult it can be for a high schooler to play for his father, but he said Zeke handled it well and earned the respect of his teammates.
“Sometimes coaches overpromote their own children, but we only sent tapes on Zeke to one college, and it was the only college that asked for them,” coach Wright said. “He’s a very selfless young man. You don’t get voted Homecoming King without being well-liked amongst your peers, and it’s hard to do that while being a coach’s son.”
Zeke was a four-year starter for TCHS, playing as a freshman for former coach Jeff Embrey before Mike Wright was rehired to lead the Wildcats. Zeke was elected to the All-5th District team in the 2008-09 season, and after the team lost a great deal of talent due to graduation, opponents were able to focus defensive attention on Wright and fellow senior Jalik Alexander. Still, both players excelled and led the team, coach Wright said.
“Zeke made it an easy transition for me since he was starting as a freshman when I wasn’t coaching,” coach Wright said. “Our captains were good leaders for us this year, and that was important.”
Zeke said he’s excited to begin his time at Thomas More and feels the school is a good fit for him.
“The environment and the people there are great,” Wright said. “It’s a good chance to get to keep playing somewhere.”
Wright said he is unsure of an academic major at this time and will spend the summer working to improve his ball handling skills and continue to work on shooting.
Wright said winning a pair of district championships and winning a game in the 2nd Region Tournament in 2009 will be among the highlights of his time at TCHS.
“We had some good teams, and I’ll remember the teamwork and all the people I played with,” Wright said.
Among those people is his brother, Zack, who was a member of Trigg’s district winner during Zeke’s freshman season. While there is a family connection present with Zack and his father, Zeke said the game stays in the gym for him.
“We don’t talk about it at home,” Wright said. “It was an experience, though. Dad treated me like everyone else.”