Kent City athlete relishes second chance

KENT CITY, Mich. (WOOD) — Kent City senior basketball player Will Wright may not be his team’s best player, but he’s certainly as valuable of a teammate as you can have.

“He brings so much energy to our team,” Kent City Eagles head coach David Ingles said. “He doesn’t need to score points to affect a game. His attitude and hustle and effort, that makes us better.”

Just a little over a year ago, Wright’s ability to contribute to the team was put on hold.  

“Confusion at first because I didn’t know what happened,” Wright, the then a junior, said. “I felt stiff in my neck. It didn’t really feel like pain because I was in a lot of shock at the moment.”

In less than ideal driving conditions, Wright hit a patch of black ice and rolled the truck he was driving. His younger sister Ava, 15, and younger brother Isaac, 13, were both in the car.  

The truck Will Wright and his siblings were in during a car crash.

“The first thing I asked is if my siblings were OK, ‘are they hurt?,’” Wright said. “Praise God they were unscathed in the accident. I took the brunt.”

Wright broke his neck. However, he had no spinal cord damage. Still, it would take a few months of serious rehab to see if he’d be able to play with his teammates again.  

“You have to count your blessings. We only have this one life and I was lucky enough to keep living it,” Wright said.

He was also lucky enough to still be able to compete. So much so, he made it back for track season. If making it back wasn’t successful enough, Wright helped set a school record in the 4×100 meter relay as well as a fourth place finish at the state tournament.  

“I never thought I’d be able to compete again in sports. Then coming out here and shattering a record with your friends is just a flurry of emotions,” he said.

Now he’s helping the basketball team too. Kent City has started the season winning four of its first five games.

“First day of practice this year, to see him put a jersey on and get on the floor,” Ingles said. “I just stood there and watched for a little bit because it was cool to see him out there.”

Wright’s dedication also describes him as a person.

“Just that he’s back after that bad of an injury,” fellow senior Eli Carlson said. “It just shows you who he is. He’s a strong fighter.”

“God has gifted me many things. Great community. Awesome friends. I can only count my blessings right now. It’s amazing,” Wright said.

Wright plans on attending Ferris State University to study engineering.