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Thursday, March 14, 2013
Wright first known NBA Player with MS
SAN ANTONIO -- About a year after he was barely able to walk due to a frightening disease, Chris Wright was running the floor with the Dallas Mavericks during Wednesday's practice.
Wright became the first-known NBA player to acknowledge having multiple sclerosis when he signed a 10-day deal with Dallas and joined the Mavs in San Antonio. That's a fact that Wright is especially proud of after earning a call-up from the D-League.
"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."
Wright was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a chronic, unpredictable disease that affects the central nervous system, while playing for Olin Edime in the Turkish Basketball League last season.
The first sign of the disease occurred when his foot gave out while he was running line sprints at the end of a March practice. Wright lost sensation and felt pain and numbness in his right hand, right arm and right leg that night, prompting him to visit multiple doctors and specialists before the disease was finally diagnosed correctly.
Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, numbness, loss of balance, poor coordination, blurred vision and problems with memory and focus, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which estimates that more than 2.1 million people are affected by the disease. In severe cases, MS can cause paralysis. Wright originally was told by Turkish doctors that his basketball career was finished.