He was a freshman at Leuzinger High School near Los Angeles, 5-foot-7 and unimpressive.
“I guess people didn’t take me seriously,” Delon Wright, now 20, said. “I was like really skinny and I wasn’t as athletic as I am right now. So a lot of people doubted me — like I’d never be as good as my brother.”
Being the little brother of former Warrior Dorell Wright — the 2004 19th overall NBA draft pick, straight out of high school — can sway basketball scouts, and others, to doubt.
“It was just a lot,” Wright said. “Trying to prove them wrong.”
Through winning, he has silenced the critics.
In leading the City College of San Francisco men’s basketball team to its first perfect regular season at 28-0, the sophomore guard has been paramount in his team reaching the California Community College Athletic Association postseason. The No. 1-seeded Rams will host San Jose City College on Saturday. But the pain of last postseason’s early ousting still resides with the now 6-5, 175-pound star.
“For the six people that came back, we use it as motivation,” Wright said. “We kind of took Cabrillo lightly, so this year, we’ll make sure we don’t take anybody lightly. If everybody is on the same page, we’ll be unstoppable. And get to that state championship win.”
The state championship is what many expected the Rams to claim last year, coming off their first title in 49 years the season prior.
“When we won it all, we graduated a lot of kids,” coach Justin Labagh said. “And the guys that came in the following year, they kind of got a lot of congratulations, and they really didn’t do anything yet.”
Wright, then a freshman, was one of those guys.
“[People] were saying, ‘Oh, you guys are gonna easily win state.’ And some of us believed it,” Wright said. “We really got into the hype.”
But hype aside, the career of the younger of these Wright brothers is starting to take flight. Last year, Delon signed with the University of Utah, where he’ll play under the tutelage of nine-year NBA veteran Larry Krystkowiak next season.
“I wanted to play for a coach that had experience at the next level,” Wright said.
Yet the younger Wright has already had experience at the next level — somewhat — and believes he can take his elder sibling one-on-one.
“Right now, I think I’d win, to be honest,” Wright said. “I mean I love my brother, but I think I can get him. Definitely.”
Last summer, Wright alongside his current Philadelphia 76ers brother, Dorell, played against NBA ballers J.R. Smith, John Wall, Ron Artest and Paul George.
“I had about 17 points or whatever, and everybody would come up to me and say if I keep on working, I could make that possible,” he said. “I was like, ‘Finally somebody is recognizing that I can play a little bit.’”