RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The term “best week ever” is often overused but is right on the money when talking about Raleigh native Moses Wright.
Checking the timeline, he actually had a few days to spare.
It all started March 8. An early morning phone call from his head coach Josh Pastner startled him awake to give him the news there was a press conference in 30 minutes because he had earned ACC Player of the Year honors.
“I had like no clue what he was talking about because I was still half asleep,” said Wright. “He tells me to get dressed and I had to walk down to our little meeting room and I walk down there and Moose and everybody told me I won and everybody told me congratulations and I was like wow.”
The “wow” moments were just getting started. Three days later on March 11 he was back on the court in Greensboro playing in the ACC Tournament helping the Yellow Jackets take down Miami.
Just 48 hours removed from that big win he was putting up a 15-point, 8-rebound performance against Florida State. It lifted Georgia Tech to their first ACC title since 1993 and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“It really hit home when I was talking to my friends about it and like ‘wow, you’re really an ACC champ’,” said Wright. “You really did it, you did like the impossible because a lot of people just wrote us off after the first two losses and like we came back and did it.”
Of course, it wasn’t all candy and nuts. Among the pats of the back were a few friends that kept it real with him.
“My friend Nia from back home, she’s like my little sister, so she told me congratulations,” smiled Wright. “Then she was like, but you still a loser in my book so don’t get too big of a head.”
Everyone needs a few friends like Nia. As for getting a big head there is no chance of that happening.
The Yellow Jackets left Atlanta March 4 and haven’t been home since. Their final regular-season game was with Wake Forest in Winston-Salem.
To keep the team isolated from COVID-19 they went straight to Greensboro for the ACC Tournament. Upon winning it all they went straight to Indianapolis to get ready for the NCAA Tournament.
Staying in hotels on the road and isolating to stay safe from COVID-19 have been tough and has Wright missing the little things we all take for granted.
“I can’t even walk outside when I want to, I can’t get food when I want to,” said Wright. “We get food scheduled and everything but like to walk outside and get a snack or just take a walk when I want to — there’s none of that.”
It’s a lot to deal with but just a peek at the dedication and discipline of not just Wright but the entire Georgia Tech team. They don’t just see this as a one and done year. He’s looking at this as laying the foundation for a new era of Tech basketball in Atlanta that will dominate for years to come.
“We got BJ Elder on the staff and he was a part of a championship run and Marvin (Lewis), too, he’s on the staff and having those people around is just like motivating,” said Moses. “Before we won the ACC championship, I told BJ we’re going to do something that you all didn’t do and that’s win the championship. So just doing that after backing it up was just fun but also bringing life back to Georgia Tech basketball. We have a lot of fans now but I remember sophomore year we didn’t really have anybody watching us.”
This week the Yellow Jackets will have more than the few thousand fans from Georgia Tech watching. They will have the eyes of the world watching as they square off with Loyola in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Game time is set for Friday at 4 p.m. and Moses has one goal in mind.
“I’m thinking national championship,” said Moses. “Loyola has the big name and everything from the run they made a few years ago. Obviously, I watched them play when they made that run but we are just taking it one game at a time now, honestly, because anything can happen. This is March Madness you know.”