EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's basketball Head Coach Brian Barone has added a pair of recruits to his roster for the upcoming season.
Lamar Wright (Murrieta, California) and Shamar Wright (Murrieta, California) have each signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Cougars. Both come to SIUE after spending last season at Link Year Prep in Branson, Missouri. They are twin brothers and the sons of former NBA player, the late Lorenzen Wright.
Shamar, a 6-foot, 7-inch, 185-pound forward, averaged 14.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game at Link Year Prep.
"We excited to welcome Shamar Wright to our program," Barone said. "Shamar will immediately add length, size and versatility to our roster. His ability to shoot the three with his size and length will be a dynamic trait for our team. Shamar has a high ceiling and with added strength he has a chance to become a special player. He is coming to us from a terrific program in Link Year Prep in which he has been mentored on and off the court in a positive environment. We are proud to establish a culture with a young man who has high talent and character like Shamar."
"He played a vital role on a team that started and finished the season as a top 10 Post Grad team in the Nation," Link Year Prep Head Coach Adam Donyes said. "Shamar is a versatile player who has a huge upside. He is able to play multiple positions and can cause matchup problems for opponents. He shoots the three at a high percentage on one end and has the ability to protect the rim on the other. As great as a player as he is on the court, he's an even better young man off the court. There is no doubt in my mind he will fit right in with the SIUE culture. Coach Barone and his staff got a gem."
During his senior season at Murrieta Mesa High School, Shamar averaged 18.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game, setting school records for points (678), rebounds (304) and blocks (90) in a season. He was chosen as the Southwestern League MVP, a first team All-California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) selection and chosen to the Desert Valley All-Star team.
"Shamar demonstrated an all-around game in which we utilized him on the block most frequently but he also was able to stretch the court to the three-point line and was our leading three-point shooter as well," Murrieta Mesa Head Coach Chris Jones said. "On the defensive end, he set the school record for blocked shots and was able to match up with any player we wanted."
"When I got to SIUE, it was the right feeling," Shamar Wright said. "When I talked with Coach Barone, It felt like we fit into his system. We can help get wins."
Lamar, 6-7, 185 forward, averaged 8.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.5 blocks per game at Link Year Prep.
"Lamar Wright is a young man that we are excited to welcome onto our team and who will help build our brand both on and off the court." Barone added. "Lamar is consistently moving when he is on the court which makes him difficult to keep away from the ball. His athleticism and motor will be an exciting thing to watch as he continues to develop over his career. Lamar can step out and shoot the three along with playing above the rim. He plays with the 'Find A Way' mentality and energy we value within our program."
"Lamar Wright is a burgeoning player who is going to be a force to be reckoned with," Donyes said. "His work ethic, consistency and determination sets him apart from so many others. As a coach I always knew what I was going to get out of Lamar night in and night out. His high motor, athleticism, and fierce competitiveness helped us become a top-ranked team in the nation."
Lamar also was a Desert Valley All-Star selection and was the All-Star slam dunk champion. He was an All-CIF second team pick. He holds the Murrieta Mesa High School record for points in a game with 38.
"Lamar was a lock down defender," Jones said. "We were able to challenge him, and he rose to the occasion every time. He generally defended the best opposing perimeter player and made life very difficult for them with his length and athleticism. On the offensive end, Lamar was incredible off the bounce. He was relentless going to the basket."
"SIUE was the first school to believe in both of us," Lamar Wright said. "When we met the coaching staff and the players there was a feeling that this was a good environment to be in."
"The basketball world has a funny way of bringing people together," Barone added. "The last time I had seen Lamar and Shamar, they were about four years old when my dad was coaching their dad while he played for the Memphis Grizzlies. Lamar and Shamar will bring an immediate 'family' culture into our locker room. These two young men have great personalities and such a positive energy about them. It is a unique situation to have twins on a roster. We know their family bond on and off the court will strengthen our team. They have a special bond together but also bring a style and personality individually within their own game."