Kareem Wright is hard to miss. Standing 6 feet 9 inches tall, it’s no wonder the second-year Penn Wood head coach is a security guard by day.
Wright has been coaching at Penn Wood for nearly a decade. He was the JV head coach and an assistant on Monique Boykins’ staff when the Patriots began the transformation into a Del Val League powerhouse. In his first season at the helm, Wright guided the Patriots to their fourth straight Del Val title. Wright also coaches AAU basketball for Team Success Youth Inc. in Colwyn.
But he’s no ordinary coach.
Wright was a standout college player at Rutgers and a semi-pro football player in the Indoor Gridiron League with the New Jersey Bulldawgs.
He also spent several years with the Harlem Globetrotters.
Wright got involved with the Globetrotters following his college career. He was in Los Angeles on a tryout for the Lakers when he was offered an opportunity with the Globetrotters.
“I traveled 64 countries and all across the United States, then I was overseas for a while,” said Wright, who was a member of the Globetrotters from 2003-08. “I went out to Los Angeles to try out with the Lakers as a free agent. I worked out with the Nets and different teams. I was kind of bouncing around and trying to find my way. I had opportunities to make D-League (NBA Development League), but I didn’t want it. I wanted to try and get to the league.”
Once he joined the Globetrotters, he said, “it was history from there.”
“I signed up for everything. I did Globetrotter University and talked to the kids. Whatever there was to do, I did,” Wright said. “I was travelling everywhere and I was pretty much never in my hotel room. That was exhausting, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. How can you really talk about the experience if you really didn’t go out and do things? I was am ambassador, I did TV and radio. You then catch up with the team, go out and play and do more TV and other things. It was all worth it.”
Wright has lived a pretty remarkable life and he’s happy where he is today, at Penn Wood and coaching youth basketball. That’s his passion.
“I’ve been around this game for a long time,” he said. “I feel this is my way to give back.”
Interboro took a respite from practice last Friday to take part in a community service project.
For the third straight year, the Bucs traveled to Berwyn to visit the The Timothy School, which is the oldest non-profit approved private school in Pennsylvania devoted exclusively to teaching students with autism.
The Bucs volunteered their time with students and participated in a variety of activities, including bowling and a “just-for-fun” basketball scrimmage.
In the Central League, Garnet Valley is the heavy favorite to run the table and capture the league playoff title again. The Jags are vying for their fifth straight Central championship. Since falling to Radnor in the 2013 Central League final, the Jags have lost only one game against a conference rival.
Who, if anyone, has a shot to dethrone the champs? Conestoga, Haverford and Springfield, in no particular order, probably provide Garnet Valley’s toughest challenges. Then again, the Jags have dispatched all three opponents with relative ease this season.
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