Details on the death of former Memphis star Lorenzen Wright are still somewhat muddled. We know that a Germantown, Tenn., dispatcher received a 911 call from Wright's cell phone July 19. We know that Wright had been missing since then. We know the dispatcher heard "at least 10 gunshots" before the phone went dead. And we know, tragically, that Wright's body was found Wednesday afternoon, hidden away in the woods of southeast Memphis.
Other than that, we don't know much. Above all, we don't know why. Maybe we never will.
What Memphis fans do know is that they will miss Wright dearly. Wright hailed from the city and played his college hoops there, and few players -- if any -- are as beloved to Tigers fans. Which is why it's especially devastating to read the heartfelt tributes to Wright emanating from the area Wednesday night. One of the best comes from The Memphis Commercial-Appeal's Ron Higgins, who spoke with Wright's family and friends in his attempt to eulogize the beloved player.
Nashville-based sports agent Brian Parker, a friend of 20 years after the two were AAU summer league teammates, said Wright loved his family and loved the city of Memphis.
“I will always remember the great times we shared together,” Parker said. “Lorenzen was a great ambassador for the city of Memphis and he touched a lot of lives. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, especially his beautiful children.”
Wright was taught to play that way by his father, a vicious college rebounder who had his playing career ended by a bullet that paralyzed him. A wheelchair didn’t stop Herb from making his son bigger and tougher than Dad.
“Playing games in a season is nothing compared to training with my Dad in the off-season,” Lorenzen once said. “I never think that anything is harder than running around a lake or running through sand dunes in the summer. But it’s that intensity, that focus that helped me.”