Marquis Wright is a professional basketball player currently playing for Denain ASC Voltaire in France. Wright plays in the LNB Pro B, commonly known as Pro B, which is the 2nd-tier level men’s professional basketball league in France. He is a successful professional athlete, but it did not happen overnight. This article is the first of a three-part series documenting the rise of Marquis Wright. We’ll discuss his high school career, his life as a Division I athlete, and how it is being a professional basketball player overseas.
Part I: North Point High School
- Freshman – 2009-10
Moving to Waldorf, MD, he felt like the competition was little bit easier than Prince George County (where he previously lived) or the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC). He always wanted to go to McNamara but at that point in time, his parents were divorced, and he lived in Waldorf with his mother.
He started off playing on Junior Varsity for the North Point Eagles. This was his first-time playing Southern Maryland Athletic Conference (SMAC) basketball and claimed that Junior Varsity was pretty easy. Jimmy Ball was the head coach and he asked Wright three times if he wanted to move up to Varsity. “Playing on JV, I came into high school with these guys and I wanted to play with my friends. Every time Coach Ball asked me to move up, I knew I should be playing on Varsity, but I said no. I didn’t like how some players on the team played. I felt like some of those players were selfish” said Wright. The third time he was approached, coach Ball went to Wright’s father as well. “He asked my father about me moving up to Varsity. My father knew how I felt about the team, but he said do it for the exposure”. When Wright was on JV, they were 17-0; once he moved up to Varsity, JV lost their next game. Playing on Varsity, North Point made the playoffs and lost in first round to Old Mill (Millersville, MD) 88-83.
Finishing Record – 15-9
Season Statistics – 8.4 PPG 3.3 APG 2.3 RPG 1.4 SPG
After his 9th grade season, Wright debated transferring. “I debated transferring to McNamara if things don’t change. After talking to my father, I decided to stay. We thought it was the best decision and looked what happened”.
- Sophomore – 2010-11
“At the beginning of the season, the team had a vision to win states. Everyone bought in. I can honestly say that this team was one of the best teams I’ve been a part of because we were close on and off the court. We all had the same mindset knowing we were going to win from the beginning.”
The North Point Eagles outscored their opponents by 18 points per game and finished the regular season 22-0. The Eagles stormed through the first three games of the playoffs and won the Maryland 4A East Regional Championship and clinched a spot in the Final Four hosted at the University of Maryland’s Xfinity Center (formerly Comcast Center) in College Park, MD.
“I’ve never played in front of a large crowd and the atmosphere can be overwhelming. Regardless, you have to stay humble, not get too excited, and be poised”.
North Point faced Magruder from Rockville, MD led by George Washington commit Nick Griffin in the 4A State Semifinals. North Point controlled the game start to finished and won 71-56.
In the 4A State Finals, it was North Point versus Patterson from Baltimore, MD led by Aquille Carr.
North Point controlled most of the game and shrugged off a Patterson comeback attempt to win the 4A State Championship. Wright finished with a game high 12 assists.
Finishing Record – 27-0; 4A State Champions
Season Statistics – 8.9 PPG 6.5 APG 3.3 RPG 3.3 SPG
“After this season, there is no doubt about leaving now, I’m staying!” said a joyful Wright.
- Junior – 2011-12
“Starting off the new season, we have the same focus; we’re going to win state” said Wright.
Things didn’t go as planned.
“We lost at home to Thomas Stone our 4th game of the season. That’s our first loss since my freshman year. We [Juniors and Seniors] told the team in the locker room it’s only one game and we can’t take the game back.”
The Eagles only lost twice in the regular season that year and made it back to the Comcast Center for a 4A State Semifinals showdown versus Eleanor Roosevelt from Greenbelt, MD.
“The game is tied with 41 seconds left. I get the ball on the baseline for an open shot and miss. Roosevelt rebounds the ball and calls a timeout. Roosevelt comes down and one of their players makes this crazy buzzer beater layup…. Game Over! We made it all the way there and lost. It was devestating”.
You never want to lose but this team had one senior. Most of the team will be returning for one more try at winning the Maryland State Championship.
Finishing Record – 23-3; 4A East Regional Champions; 4A State Semifinalist
Season Statistics – 13 PPG 7.3 APG 4 RPG 3.6 SPG
- Senior – 2012-13
North Point lost to Dematha 60-57 at the DMV Tip Off Classic early in the season and their record dropped to 3-1. Dematha is a national powerhouse, but Wright didn’t care for moral victories.
“I know they’re a nationally ranked school, but we were right there and lost. We are just as good as them, but they were the better team that night.”
North Point played like they had something to prove that season. The Eagles averaged 92.8 points per game, 21 steals per game and outscored their opponents by an average of 36 points.
The Eagles are going back to the Comcast Center for the State Semifinals against Eleanor Roosevelt…. again!
“This time around, I didn’t take the last shot, the play was drawn up for my teammate Matt Bonds. It was a deep three and it felt like the ball was in the air forever; it just did not go in. Another one possession loss. I already had my college offer, so I knew I was going to play basketball in college, but I really wanted to leave a winner. I guess it’s on to bigger and better things at Siena”.
Finishing Record – 24-2; 4A East Regional Champions; 4A State Semifinalist
Season Statistics – 16.6 PPG 6.1 APG 4.7 RPG 3.9 SPG 1 BPG. Scored double digits in all games but one.
Wright was voted First Team All-Metropolitan by the Washington Post. Wright was also named the 2013 Gatorade Maryland Boys Basketball Player of the Year. He is a two-time Southern Maryland Athletic Conference MVP and finished his high school career with 1,084 points, 560 assists, 325 rebounds and 290 steals.
Next week, we’ll take a deep dive into Marquis Wright’s college career as a Division I Student Athlete at Siena College.