GRAMBLING – Grambling State University is hosting a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame “Celebrating Our Legends” recognition Saturday when the Tigers host arch-rival Southern, with a halftime event spotlighting one of Grambling’s greatest basketball stars, Larry Wright, a member of the Hall’s Class of 2018.
The Grambling-Southern men’s game is set for a 5:30 start Saturday at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. Hobdy is one of 20 Grambling greats who already have been enshrined in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
Wright will be among 11 inductees going into the Hall of Fame on June 30 in Natchitoches to culminate the 2018 Induction Celebration. A schedule of events and opportunities to participate can be found at the LaSportsHall.com website.
The Tiger great will be celebrated in a halftime ceremony Saturday evening including Ronnie Rantz, the CEO/president of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation.
Wright, who teamed with 1988 LSHOF inductee Elvin Hayes on the Washington Bullets’ 1978 NBA Champion squad, was a prep and college standout in Louisiana who played six NBA seasons, and later served as the head coach at Grambling State, his alma mater. A sharp-shooting 6-1 guard, he was a prep All-American at two schools, Richwood of Monroe and Western High School in the Washington, D.C. metro area, then was a two-time NCAA Small College All-American (1975-76) at Grambling.
After being the SWAC Player of the Year as a junior with a 25.4 scoring average for the Tigers’ only SWAC Tournament championship team, he declared for the NBA Draft and was a first-round NBA Draft pick of Washington. In four seasons with the Bullets, he scored 2,489 regular-season points in 297 games (8.4 points a game), averaging between 9.3 and 7.3 points a game each season.
After playing a season for Detroit (7.4 ppg), Wright went on to play in Europe, leading Banco DiRoma to the Italian championship in 1982-83, winning Italian Player of the Year honors in 1983. One publication named him the European Player of the Year in 1983-84 when he led the team to the European title.
In 1972, he led Richwood to the state Class 3A championship, averaging 28.9 ppg. A year later at Western High School, he led the team to the Inner City championship and the Knights of Columbus championship, earning a spot on the Parade Magazine Super 13 All-American team in 1973.
The list of Tigers inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame includes Willie Brown, Buck Buchanan, Willie Davis, Ralph Garr, James “Shack” Harris, Hobdy, Bob Hopkins, Aaron James, Gary “Big Hands” Johnson, Charlie Joiner, James Jones, Ernie Ladd, Albert Lewis, Frank Lewis, Willis Reed, Eddie Robinson, Rosey Taylor, Everson Walls, Doug Williams and Tank Younger.