The twin sons of murdered former NBA standout Lorenzen Wright, basketball standouts in their own right, have found a new home.
The Press-Enterprise of Riverside County, Calif., tells the story of Lamar and Shamar Wright, who last month transferred to Murrieta (Calif.) Mesa from Stephen F. Austin in Sugar Land, Texas.
“We still go back and watch his film and remember how he used to play — he used to play to win every time,” Lamar Wright told the Press-Enterprise. “Whenever we’re on the court, we just think, ‘Well, how would my dad be playing right now?
“When I have a bad game, he’d be thinking like, ‘You’ve got to be more aggressive, even offensively. Play defense, with effort, you can always rebound your best.’ ”
The Press-Enterprise chronicles some of the long journey for Lamar and Shamar since their father was murdered in southeastern Memphis, Tenn., in 2010.
While Lorenzen’s death today remains unsolved, most of that grief was shielded from the twins according to their mother, Sherra.
The well-traveled twins arrive in Southern California hopeful for their new opportunity.
“It’s really hard,” Lamar told the Press-Enterprise, “but you get over it after a while and try to pick yourself back up and get through things. Things happen for a reason.”
Lorenzen Wright was the seventh overall pick to the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1996 NBA Draft, a 6-foot-11 center who went on to play 13 years in the league. He peaked with double-digit scoring seasons from 2001-2003 with the Atlanta Hawks and his hometown Memphis Grizzlies. He also played for the Sacramento Kings and finished with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009.
Per the Press-Enterprise, he and wife Sherra had seven children, ranging from ages 22 to 10. One, Sierra, reportedly died at 11 months due to sudden infant death syndrome in 2003.
In 2010, Wright was found dead in a secluded parking lot, reportedly nine days after being shot multiple times. Lamar and Shamar were 10 at the time. They had moved in with their uncle, Sherra’s brother Marcus Robinson, in Southern California two years prior, and have since moved back to Memphis and to suburban Houston, Texas, before ending up back in SoCal after the basketball season.
After joining a club team in Riverside, Calif., the twins are practicing with Mesa, which was 10-17 last year.
As the Press-Enterprise reports, at 6-foot-6, Lamar is like a small forward or wing and says he likes “playing on the perimeter and slashing.” At 6-7, Shamar is more of a power forward.
Their story is a remarkable one. You can read the entire Press-Enterprise piece on the Wright brothers’ journey here.