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Chris Wright, first known NBA player with MS, signs with Mavs

Mar 13, 2013, 8:49 PM EDT

Chris wright Getty Images

Chris Wright, the former Georgetown point guard, signed a 10-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks, reports Which is normally the kind of note that gets glossed over this time of year.

But Wright is breaking a barrier — he is the first known player in the NBA diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

The disease, commonly known as MS, impacts the brain and spinal cord when the protective sheaths around the nerves become damaged, which in turn can cause the nerve to slow down or stop. There are an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States with the disease.

Symptoms vary but can include loss of balance, problems walking or moving your arms, muscle spasms, weakness in the arms and legs, and coordination problems. All of which would make playing basketball at any level difficult, let alone at the NBA level. There is no known cure for the disease but there are treatments to help slow and manage the disease.

Wright started to have symptoms and was diagnosed while playing in Turkey last year. As you can imagine, the doctors told Wright it was time to find a new line of work, he told

“The doctors told me that, but I didn’t think so,” said Wright, 23, a former Georgetown star who went undrafted in 2011. “I just knew it’d be a process, and when I got back, it’d be a good story.”

Wright was able to start playing again in July and hooked in the D-League, where he impressed enough to get a call up with the Mavericks. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle has been looking for better point guard production pretty much all season, so Wright is going to get a look and a chance.

And it’s a chance to be more than just a baller.

“That’s definitely one of the things I pride myself on, being the face of it and being an inspiration and motivation for people to keep fighting.” said Wright, who averaged 15.5 points, 7.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals for the Iowa Energy this season to earn a D-League All-Star bid. “I made history with this.”

You can’t do anything other than wish Wright the best of luck.

  1. bigbadballs - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    This is so inspirational. My cousin suffers from a disease that makes his muscles weaker and weaker as he get older. He hasn’t been able to play sports since he was 4 years old. It is so great to see someone with a similar condition have so much success.

  2. sdelmonte - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Incredible. And inspiring.

  3. Mr. Wright 212 - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Good for him!

  4. ravensallday2012 - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    Awesome story. Love these kind of things. Gives people hope and inspiration

  5. cosanostra71 - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Awesome story! Best of luck to him!

  6. ranoversquarells - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Good luck man!!! This is what SportsCenter should lead up tonight …

  7. dolphindubs - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Good luck to you man! Good luck indeed!

  8. edwardemanuelson - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    This Spurs fan wishes you good luck Chris. Keep up the good work!

  9. riceforpres27 - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    Awesome to hear! My mother in law has ms and I couldn’t imagine anyone playing baskeball. Glad to hear

  10. jerdogthompson - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    Agreed. Heart felt and a great story. Hope he can excel at this level.

  11. claymatthewsisonsteroids - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Awesome, congrats!

  12. freudnumb - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Royce White, you can also be the face of something. Inspire us like Chris Wright did.

    • davidly - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:36 AM

      I agree. They are both inspirational.

  13. bigbenh8tr - Mar 13, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    feudnumb: are you serious. you clearly don’t understand mental illness to post something like that. as someone who suffers from a similar condition I am trying to hokd back lashing out in anger. statements like that only make people more xanxious and sepf conscious of themselves. be positive but not in a condescending manner please.

  14. romoscollarbone - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Cool story, here’s to a cure.

  15. dko83 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    I’ve never been one to care about thumbs ups or downs, I just like talking basketball.. but seriously… Dude who thumbs down posts wishing players with MS luck should just kill yourself. It’s like some miserable person reads all these warm, heartfelt posts and is like.. THUMBS DOWN!!!!! Normally I wouldn’t say anything, but this time it made me dry heave.

    • guyaneserj - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:03 AM

      100% agree with you o this one dko83

    • guyaneserj - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:04 AM


  16. badintent - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Vancouver has the highest concentration of women with MS in North America There is a major medical research effort here, but no cure in sight yet. Go to Whyhere?.com or org to see some of the possilbe causes of this terrible condition.And pray for a breakthrough.
    Good luck to Mr. Wright on his challenge and his career.Ball on !! Live on.

  17. 00maltliquor - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    My mom got MS, stuff aint no joke. This is a cool story, hope to catch a glimpse of this kid play sometime. Hopefully he can crack the rotation in DAL. Cool move taking a chance on him, Cubes.

  18. wgray981 - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    My dad has MS- this is cool to see.

  19. albertmn - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    If there was ever a player that I hoped could get one decent pay day, it would be in a case like this. I wish him luck, and hope he can get even a year or two at the minimum, which might make life after basketball a little easier (at least financially).

  20. yuwannano - Mar 14, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    How cool is this? Keepin it classy Dallas!

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