Marqise Wright signs professional deal with Romania's Craiova
By Matt Green
ROME – Former Shorter University men’s basketball star Marqise Wright has signed a professional contract with SCM CSU Craiova of Romanian Basketball Division A.
Wright, a two-time NAIA All-American with the Hawks, becomes the fifth Shorter player in the last four years to ink a professional deal. The Gainesville, Ga., native joins Tomas Pranciliauskas, Qavotstaraj Waddell, Mantas Leonavicius and Jerrenda Wheeler as Shorter men’s basketball alumni to play professionally overseas.
“We have tried to make a commitment to our players to get them opportunities overseas,” said Shorter head coach Chad Warner, who has been instrumental in helping all five of the aforementioned student-athletes reach their professional goals. “It is on the players to produce and do things the Shorter way, but we want to do everything we can as a staff to provide them opportunities to succeed. We are ecstatic that Marqise was able to take advantage of his opportunity.”
“I am very thankful to Shorter University, Coach Peterson our Athletic Director and Coach Warner for their support and for allowing me to pursue my goal,” said Wright, who transferred to Shorter for his final two years of eligibility after a stint at Crichton College in Memphis, Tenn. “Although I am a little nervous about the new experience, this has been a dream of mine for years. I am more grateful to Shorter than I can put into words.”
Wright’s professional stock soared after the 6-6 southpaw led the Hawks to 23 wins and a national ranking as high as No. 12 – the highest in program history – during the 2010-11 season.
As a senior, Wright ranked 19th in the country in rebounding at 8.7 caroms a game and second on the team in scoring at 15.6 per outing. He had 10 double-doubles to pace the Hawks and posted career-highs in field goal percentage (46 percent), free throw percentage (76 percent) and three-point percentage (33 percent) while also averaging over one steal per game.
Wright’s career with the Hawks was one of the best the program has ever seen.
He departs Shorter’s program with 930 points and 617 rebounds in just two seasons. Wright averaged a double-double for his career of 15 points and 10 rebounds and set a new Shorter record with an astounding 29 career double-doubles.
In his first year with the Hawks in 2009-10, Wright captured Southern States Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year honors after posting 19 double-doubles and leading the country in rebounding. His 14.9 points and 11.6 rebounds a game that season were both team-highs.
Shorter went 40-21 during Wright’s tenure. The 23 wins last season were the most for the program in 45 years.
Wright graduated from Shorter in May with a degree in Business.
“Marqise Wright has truly been a Shorter success,” said Warner. “He got his degree from a great university and now he has the chance to get paid doing something he loves. We are so proud of him.”
SCM CSU Craiova competes in the top division of Romanian professional basketball. The club reemerged in the top division last season after spending several years in the second division.
Wright departed the States for Europe early this week.