David Katz/Staff Photographer Senior forward Greer Wright has overcome a midseason ankle injury and will look to lead ninth-seeded Binghamton University to an underdog run in the America East tournament.

Ask anyone on campus if they have heard the name Greer Wright, and odds are they will nod their head yes.

In only two seasons at Binghamton University, Wright has made a name for not only himself, but the entire men’s basketball program. After a major scandal left the Bearcats’ men’s basketball program in shambles, Wright and his teammates proved to be a sign of hope for a program whose future seemed all but certain.

Wright’s junior season turned out to be a breakout year. Averaging 15 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, the 6-foot-8-inch forward was named America East first team All-Conference, leading the Bearcats to a 13-18 record while posting an unexpected 8-8 mark in conference play.

But while proving himself on the court, Wright made a name for himself off the hardwood as well. As Binghamton’s program staggered through criticism and adversity, the Florida native had numerous opportunities to transfer. But Wright’s focus to graduate as a Bearcat could not be deterred, and the decision was made to return to Binghamton for his senior year.

“I really didn’t want to leave the guys I came in with, like [seniors] Chretien Lukusa, Moussa Camara, Mahamoud Jabbi,” Wright said. “All of those guys that I came with, we started this and all of us wanted to finish it together.”

While Lukusa and Camara are four-year members of Binghamton’s program, the group is scheduled to graduate together this spring.

As an emotional and passionate athlete, Wright has found stability in his coaching staff, turning to them for advice, guidance and even just as friends.

“Another plus [of choosing to stay at Binghamton] was [head] coach [Mark] Macon and [assistant] coach [Don] Anderson, who I could always go talk to,” Wright said. “He’s like another father figure here for me; I can go to him for anything. He can talk to me, tell me what I’m doing wrong, and he just stays on top of me and I appreciate him for it.”

In his second year as head coach, Macon has developed a unique relationship with Wright, coaching him for both of his years at BU. When Macon heard his All-Conference forward was returning for his senior season, the news couldn’t have been better.

“I thought it was a great decision for him and for me, as well,” Macon said. “When you go to a new place, you don’t know what the outcome is going to be. You have to become new to someone’s family when you already have yours.”

On the court, Macon has watched Wright grow into a star athlete. With 12.6 points per game this season, Wright again leads the Bearcats in scoring and is ready to lead his team in the America East tournament.

“When you’ve got a guy with the kind of talent he has, I expect more out of him,” Macon said. “But I have to be that much harder on him so I can get that out of him, to push a guy with talent like that to be not just good, but great.”

But, as is the case with so many members of Binghamton’s campus, Wright has made an impact off the court as well. His personality has made him a joy to work with, and Macon, a former NBA player and standout college player at Temple, raves about his character.

“As a person, I think he’s a good kid,” he said of Wright. “He’s very personable. He’s very motivated when it comes to basketball. But overall, a good kid, a fun kid to be around. When he gets comfortable with you, he’s a jokester, and just a real delight to be around.”

But Wright’s basketball story extends much further than his transfer to Binghamton as a junior. His mother, also a basketball player, has motivated him since childhood. After a standout high school career in southern Florida, which earned him a spot on the Palm Beach Post’s all-area team, Wright played a season at Palm Beach Community College before heading to the west coast.

He spent his 2008-09 season playing for City College of San Francisco, averaging 11.9 points and 5.6 boards. For Wright, his time in California was life-altering and gave him a venue to mature and learn to be away from home. On the court, Wright credits his drive to work on his game and his ability to watch film to his time at City College.

After a successful season with the Rams, Wright packed his bags and headed to Binghamton. After visiting the campus, there was no doubt in his mind that this was where he wanted to play.

“When I came up I just fell in love with it and everyone here,” he said. “Coach Broadus was actually the coach who recruited me, him and coach [Mark] Hsu, and I’m thankful for those guys. But now it’s coach Macon’s turn, and he came in just like another father figure, him and coach Anderson.”

And so his campaign as a Bearcat began. His performance on the court and presence as a part of Binghamton’s campus quickly allowed Wright to stand out, and his regional notoriety puts a smile on his face.

“It means a lot. I have fun and I enjoy playing basketball in front of [these fans],” he said. “We have the best crowd by far in the America East, I just appreciate them all, and from all of the seniors I want to give them a farewell thank you. Thank you to the school and thank you to the community.”

As a senior majoring in human development, Wright has yet to decide where his path will continue after his time at BU. He has continued to keep his options open, but if the chance to play basketball is in the cards, the All-Conference forward is sure to seize the opportunity.

“We’re just going to see what happens,” Wright said. “First off, I want to get my degree, so that will be a very proud moment coming up for my parents and my family. We’ll just see where it takes me, overseas, who knows. I just want to play more basketball after this, it’s fun.”

Though the NBA is a distant goal, Wright has dreamed of getting the opportunity to play alongside his favorite player, Miami Heat superstar LeBron James. Though Wright matches James in height, the senior Bearcat may need to hit the weight room to match his physical presence.

“He’s the most powerful, most dominant player in the NBA right now,” Wright said. “But I’ve got to bulk up a little bit to be bigger than LeBron.”