UPDATED: 6:17 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A former star basketball player at Farragut High School was found dead Tuesday in the back seat of his SUV in New York and his death has been ruled a homicide, according to CBS New York.
Michael Wright, who played with NBA standout Kevin Garnett as part of a legendary squad at Farragut and then at the University of Arizona and professionally in Europe, was found dead of a head wound inside his car in Brooklyn.
NYPD told CBS 2 that investigators found a body the backseat covered with garbage bags, but they did not release an identity. After initially suspecting Wright’s death was a suicide, the New York City Medical Examiner has classified hid death as a homicide, sources tell CBS New York.
Wright’s high school coach, William “Wolf” Nelson, learned of Wright’s death from Wright’s mother this morning.
Nelson said it was like losing a son, adding that he last spoke with Wright when the player called the coach on his birthday. Nelson said that he has spoken with Garnett, who said the NBA all-star was stunned to learn the news.
Wright, 35, was drafted by the New York Knicks in 2001 but never played in the NBA. He went on to play for several teams in Europe until this year and held a dual citizenship in Turkey.
Wright played at Arizona from 1998 to 2001 and was a third-team All American after his final season. He played in the 2001 NCAA championship game, losing that year to Duke.
A family member told the Chicago Sun-Times that it doesn’t appear Wright was the victim of foul play.
However Nelson said he cannot believe that Wright would take his own life and suspects foul play may be involved.
At Farragut, Wright was a freshman on the star-studded team that included Garnett and Ronnie Fields. That 1995 team finished 28-2 but was upset by a talented Thornton squad in the state playoffs. At one point that season, they were ranked in the top five in the nation by USA Today. Fields called it a “tragic day” on Twitter and said, “Michael Wright will be missed by many.”
A tragic day- we lost a great man, teammate, and son -Michael Wright will be missed by many – still can't believe it- May God help us all.
— Ronnie Fields (@RonnieFields23) November 11, 2015