Transferring high schools is never easy especially when it’s to a crosstown school and especially when you are an athlete with big talent and even bigger dreams.
Aidan Wright made the decision to leave Huron and switch to Pioneer High School last year because, well, just because. It just felt like the right thing to do. And it felt even more right when the Pioneers rolled out the welcome mat for the talented guard.
“Coming from a cross-town rival school I was well aware that I needed to come in and bring an extra edge to the program,” Wright says. “Despite having to miss the first half of the season and only being able to practice I was always there to support my teammates through the good and bad.”
The Pioneers had plenty of talent last year but went through some ups and downs as the new players got to know the veterans. The chemistry would start to develop and Pioneer ended up being one of the elite teams in a crowded field of elite teams.
“One of the good moments was when we played Saline at our house,” Wright said. “That was probably our most complete game of the season, as a team, we worked efficiently, played our best defense of the year and had each other’s back.”
Because he transferred Wright had to sit out the first six games of the season.
“I had no time to waste,” he said. “I had to work 10 times has hard to prove to my new team how important it was for me to contribute. I worked out with the trainer four days a week and skill training twice a week. I stayed late and come early every time someone had the gym open. I knew the only way to contribute after sitting out so many games is to treat every practice like a championship game.”
This season, Wright doesn’t have to sit out any games and will be much more familiar with his teammates and comfortable in his surroundings. The Pioneers have a very strong team coming back and should contend for an SEC title and set even bigger goals.
“My expectations for my senior year is to win the District title,” Wright says. “It won’t come easy but that is why we have been working hard all spring and summer. I have always watched the District championship from the stands. I want that to end in my final year.”
And what will the Pioneers need to do in order to make that happen?
“For a deep playoff run to occur the team is going to have to make sacrifices and commit full time to the team,” he said. “We need to spend time watching the film, going over opponent’s sets, work on weaknesses and just grind till the end.”
Wright, 17, has worked extremely hard preparing for the upcoming season. Wright played AAU ball with the Detroit Spartans who have beaten and competed with some of the best teams in the nation.
“This summer has been huge for me,” he said. “This was my first year playing on a circuit, playing against higher competition all summer on the circuit and at other national events and it’s really shown me that I can compete with the best. My main focus this summer has been creating my own shot and developing smoother handles. My ball handling has improved thanks to Coach Marion.”
Off the court, Wright is part of MREACH, Rising Scholars and The University of Michigan Youth Mentoring Program. “All of these programs are committed to serving and giving back to the community,” he says. “I am pursuing a career in sports on or off the court. I really love the game. I will enjoy a career path in the business, coaching or recruiting of basketball.”
He’s looking at several colleges to further his education and continue playing the game he loves. “The process so far has been going well,” he says. “I have already had one visit which was to Sienna Heights University. I really enjoyed the visit and the hospitality they showed me. I plan to have a few more visits this fall to schools that have shown interest in me.”
Right now, his focus is squarely on playing basketball. And making those dreams come true through hard work and preparation.
“I’m just extremely thankful for everything that has happened to me this past year, this has all been a dream that I have been dreaming ever since I was in middle school,” he says. “To see it almost come complete I cannot thank the people enough who have been on this road with me, without their guidance I would not have the opportunities I have today.”