Sharone Wright will stick to basketball, thank you very much. But with his reputation, shouldn't somebody draft him for politics? Cynics might say he'd make a fine obstructionist legislator.
Clemson's ACC Legend could reject attempts with the best in Washington in a career that took him from Macon, Ga., to Tigertown and the NBA. He still stands 10th in ACC history in total blocks (288) and blocks per game (3.13) some 18 years after his final Tiger contest. His timing and work ethic made him the sixth overall pick of the 1994 NBA draft.
"I think it comes back to when I was a younger kid," he said. "I worked out with a former Laker, Myles Patrick, who was a really big influence on me. He would lean on me every time I jumped. I learned the rules of shot-blocking and positioning really early."
One of the first McDonald's All-Americans to sign with Clemson, Wright became an unmistakable presence on both ends of the court, earning third-team All-ACC honors in 1993 and a second-team selection in his final campaign. He rejected 10 shots in two games of a two-week stretch in his sophomore season and had a six-game run as a junior that featured averages of 17.7 points, 12 rebounds and 4.2 blocks per contest.
"I was going to go to Duke, but my father said he wanted me to go to a place where it would be my team," Wright said. "And (coach) Cliff Ellis made it my team. Everything he said he'd do, he did it."