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In Memoriam: Lonnie Wright 1945-2012
March 23, 2012 - Amid the coaching change in basketball at
Colorado State University, Ram legendary basketball player Lonnie
Wright passed away Friday. Wright was one of the most prolific
basketball players at CSU in the 1960s and helped lead the Rams
to two NCAA tournament berths. Below is Wright's hall of fame bio
outlining his career at CSU and as one of the earliest two-sport
professional athletes in American history.

Lonnie Wright came to Colorado State University from Newark, New
Jersey in 1962 and began an athletic career that became a marvel
in professional sport. Wright was recruited by Coach Jim Williams
and since he could not play varsity basketball in his freshman
season, joined the track team and immediately broke the school
record in the shot-put. Following Bill Green’s All-American season of
1963, Wright became the star of the Rams in 1964 as a viable All-
American candidate. Over his three seasons at CSU, Wright scored
1,246 points and helped lead the Rams to the NCAA Tournament in
1966. The Associated Press named him as an honorable mention to
the All-America team in 1965.

Lonnie Wright’s legend continued into professional sports when he
became the third professional athlete in history to compete in both
basketball and football simultaneously. Wright, who never played
football at Colorado State, was chosen by the Denver Broncos of
the American Football League and played safety in 1966 and 1967.
At the end of the 1967 football season, the Denver Rockets of the
American Basketball Association came calling and Wright played in
38 games with the team in the 1967-68 season. Wright left the
Broncos and went on to play for the Rockets from 1967 to 1971,
concluding his ABA career in 1971-72 with the Miami Floridians. He
lives in Newark, New Jersey where he has worked for the University
of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey since 1974.

Other Accomplishments:
•        Nye Award (1966)
•        Drafted by St. Louis (Atlanta) Hawks of NBA (1966)
•        Honorable Mention AP All-American (1965)
•        First two-sport professional athlete in school history
•        Newark Athletic Hall of Fame (1988)


Denver Post article regarding Wright's death
Lonnie Wright - CSU Hall of Fame Class of 1989
Lonnie Wright came to CSU in 1962 and
immediately filled the gap where Bill Green left
off after the 1963 season.
Lonnie Wright scored 1,246 points in three
seasons with the Rams and was named as an
honorable mention for the 1965 All-America team.
Wright was inducted into the CSU Hall of Fame in 1989; the second
class of the hall at Colorado State University.
CSU photo
CSU photo
CSU photo