THE Joondalup Wolves went looking for electricity and believe they’ve found it in the form of a former teammate to NBA stars Russell Westbrook and Blake Griffin.
Canadian Ryan Wright is to join the State Basketball League as Joondalup’s marquee replacement for axed forward Richard Ross.
Wolves officials are expecting the 30-year-old power player to have an immediate impact coming off time as a starter for Vasas in Hungary’s top national league, where he averaged 13 points and seven rebounds a game.
At 206cm and 111kg, Wright offers Joondalup an intimidating presence inside the key.
Wolves chief executive Cameron Britt expected the import to “electrify the crowd”.
“He’s been on the radar for (coach) Ben Ettridge for a while… but he’s maybe thought he’s almost beyond the reach for our level of competition,” he said.
“What’s fortunate is he’s very interested in coming to Australia.”
Ettridge said Wright offered the “extra piece we’ve been looking for”.
“He is elite in every regard and we feel quite fortunate that we can add him to our established group,” he said.
The journeyman has shared the court with some of basketball’s biggest names as a college teammate to Westbrook at UCLA and Griffin at Oklahoma.
Used mainly as a bench player, Wright was part of the UCLA side that made the NCAA Division I Final Four in 2006.
He played two minutes of the Bruins’ semi-final victory against LSU but did not feature in their championship loss to Florida.
In 2007, Wright started on the bench with freshman Westbrook when Florida handed UCLA another Final Four defeat, this time in the semi-finals.
He made 58 appearances for the Bruins from 2005 to 2007 and 64 for the Sooners from 2008 to 2010.
Since college, the globetrotter has featured for teams in South Korea, Finland, Turkey and the Dominican Republic before his latest stint in Budapest.
The third-placed Wolves expect him to suit up for them this weekend as they head into a double header against Mandurah away on Friday and Perry Lakes at home on Saturday.