'Proud' Keith Wright salutes Crimson family
March, 22, 2013
By Jack McCluskey | ESPNBoston.com
He's a professional now, playing basketball for a living. But that doesn't mean Keith Wright feels any less of a connection to his alma mater.
Debby Wong/US PresswireHarvard alum Keith Wright, the 2010-11 Ivy League player of the year, called Friday's win "a huge win for our program."
The forward for Uppsala in Sweden's top league (where he's listed at 209 centimeters and 109 kilograms) was watching Thursday night as No. 14 seed Harvard upset No. 3 seed New Mexico 68-62.
"It is such a huge win for our program," Wright said by email Friday. "I'm so proud of those guys."
Part of Tommy Amaker's first full recruiting class in 2008, Wright helped establish the winning culture that's flourishing in Cambridge right now. The 2010-11 Ivy Player of the Year played 33 minutes in the 12th-seeded Crimson's loss to No. 5 seed Vanderbilt in last season's NCAA tournament, finishing with eight points and nine rebounds.
After the Crimson upset the Lobos, Wright said he was able to video chat with some of his former teammates and coaches.
"For Coach Amaker to do what he did with the squad this year, given the circumstances, is unbelievable," Wright said. "All of the alums are so proud to be a part of what Harvard had become."
That includes some of Wright's other former teammates, like Oliver McNally and Houston Rockets star Jeremy Lin.
After the buzzer sounded in Salt Lake City, Lin tweeted his excitement.
Wright did the same:
its 6 am..i have a game tonight…but i can't go back to sleep now…hahaha IM TOO HYPED for the little homies #gocrimson— Keith Wright (@KWright44) March 22, 2013
Hours later, Wright sounded just as excited.
"It was just awesome to see. You can give credit to Coach Amaker but the players buying into his system and the brand of Harvard basketball is the most important part," Wright said. "Players like Wes Saunders stepping up and the emergence of Siyani Chambers was great to see. Kenyatta [Smith] finally coming into his own towards the end of the season … I'm just a proud alum, man.
"I feel extremely blessed to be a part of the Harvard program and community. We are all a family!"
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.