Ex-CCSF star Delon Wright sees star rising at Utah 

click to enlarge Delon Wright
  • Ben Margot/AP file photo
  • Delon Wright returned to Utah for his senior season to complete his degree and lead the Utes to the NCAA tournament.
Delon Wright is efficient.

The ubertalented Utah 6-foot-5 senior point guard will have the NBA on his mind next spring. So he sat down with Utes men’s basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak this offseason to outline a plan for finishing his sociology degree. He could have opted for a lighter load.

But that’s not why Wright decided to bypass the NBA and return to Salt Lake City for his senior season, the second with the Utes after a glittering pair of years with City College of San Francisco, for whom he was a two-time Coast Conference Player of the Year.

He’s intent upon finishing that degree — on time. That means a heavy workload this fall.

“I give a lot of credit to my academic advisers,” Wright said at Thursday’s Pac-12 Conference media day. “They believed in me, that I could knock it out right now. They helped me and gave me the confidence that I could get it done.”

Krystkowiak mentions that Wright is a firm favorite among the Utes’ academic support staff.

“And it’s not the way that he’s playing, it’s the way that he comes in with them and tries,” Krystkowiak said. “They know it’s not easy for him, but he’s intent upon fulfilling that definition of student-athlete.”

Last season, Wright led Utah with 15.5 points and 5.3 assists per game, and was tops in the Pac-12 with 38.6 minutes played and 2.5 steals. He also averaged 1.3 blocks per game. He was named first-team All-Pac-12 and first-team conference all-defense.

“Delon is the classic example of a stat sheet stuffer,” Krystkowiak said.

That’s nothing new for a kid whom CCSF coach Justin Labagh considers the best player he has coached. Perhaps the most humble, too. Despite the swirl of preseason acclaim coming his way, Wright’s standard response to questions about personal recognition is, “It’s good for the team.” Attending media day? “It’s a chance to represent the team.”

Labagh has spoken to Wright’s asceticism, which belies his age. At CCSF, mornings were spent in the gym hoisting jumpers. Labagh made sure he hit the books, too. Wright completed a certain number of study hours each week.

“[Labagh] has had one of the greatest influences on me as a coach,” said Wright, the brother of former Warriors player Dorrell Wright. “[CCSF assistant] Adam D’Acquisto, too. Without them helping me academically and athletically, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Kid Cougar: Trevor Dunbar, who graduated St. Ignatius in the spring and was the West Catholic Athletic League and Central Coast Section Player of the Year in 2014, signed a financial aid agreement to attend Washington State in June. At Pac-12 Media Day, first-year Cougars coach Ernie Kent said of Dunbar: “Trevor certainly has the skill set, the talent and the quickness to be able to help us win basketball games. Like any freshman, he has a lot to learn in a new place, but I fully expect him to handle the position and the minutes I envision giving him.”

Big game for CCSF: Showing little rust from a bye week, the CCSF football team (5-1) will face a stern test Saturday when it hosts Santa Rosa (5-1), which is coming off a 24-21 to the College of San Mateo. CCSF beat Foothill 62-7 last week.

Dons on a roll: Following a West Coast Conference-opening sweep last weekend, the USF men’s soccer team (8-3-2) has begun conference play undefeated for the first time since 2008 — coincidentally, the last season the Dons made the NCAA tournament. Today, they host No. 11 Stanford (8-2-2) at 7 p.m.

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Matthew Snyder

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