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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : sports : local sports June 29, 2022

4/1/2022 8:15:00 AM
Wright Joins Combine Academy "Goats"

Lincoln Herald Staff

Top 25 nationally ranked Combine Academy, International Boarding High School and Sports Performance Center located just north of Lincolnton, announced this week the hiring of National High School Basketball Head Coach, Michael Wright.

Wright, a well-known figure in North Carolina basketball, founded Liberty Heights Athletic Institute in 2016 where he served as the president and head coach of their men’s national basketball team. At Liberty Heights, Wright had 5 seasons with 20+ wins, placed 20+ student-athletes at the NCAA D1 and D2 levels, won a Beach Ball Classic Championship and a Big Shots National Championship. Wright finished his most recent season at Liberty Heights Athletic Institute with a 31-3 record and was runner-up State Champions at the Hoop State Championship presented by Phenom Hoops.

Wright, known as a player’s coach and relationship developer, has coached multiple nationally ranked players.

Combine Academy, an industry leader in student-athlete performance and educational development, has sent over 600+ basketball, baseball, soccer, and golf playing student-athletes to the collegiate level of athletics since its origination in 2012. Co-Founded by former Clemson University Hall of Famer and 8-year NBA veteran, Trevor Booker and his college teammate Jonah Baize, Combine Academy has grown to become a nationally known name in Sports Education. In 2017, Combine Academy relocated its headquarters to its 52-acre campus on Car Farm Road just north of Lincolnton.  Combine Academy has over 200,000 square feet of academic and athletic development space and says its mission is to expand its footprint, reach, and facilities/amenities to provide greater opportunities to aspiring collegiate student-athletes.

Since relocation, and under the direction of former head coach Jeff McInnis, Combine Academy has won two back-to-back State Championships, two Big Shots National Championships, and has resided in the top 25 Nationally for three consecutive years.

Combine Academy President Jonah Baize said of Wright: "After a vigorous nationwide search, we identified the undoubtedly best candidate to take the reins of our National program. Mike Wright is a proven winner who has displayed both great integrity and leadership ability over the course of his coaching career. There is no doubt in our minds that we become Geico National Tournament contenders under his direction and leadership.”

Wright said he is looking forward to the opportunity at Combine Academy: "It is a blessing and honor to be selected to lead this prestigious organization. I look forward to bringing my unique vision and approach to build a culture of excellence that extends beyond the basketball court for all of our student-athletes and staff members. I am passionate about pouring into players & helping them to grow as both athletes and young adults and I cannot think of a better place to continue that. Myself and my staff have the intent of solidifying Combine Academy as a perennial national contender!" 

Wright will be taking over a program that has already had great success.  Phenom Hoops rates three Combine Academy as the best college basketball prospects from North Carolina this year:  7'1" center Patrick Wessler will be going to Virginia Tech as will guard MJ Collins.  Jayden Epps will be headed for Illinois.  

While Wright's coaching ability sparkled at Liberty Heights, he lacked the facilities that Combine Academy has.  

Jeff Bendel of Phenon Hoops writes: "Wright has already sent countless players to the college game. The challenges of managing a program like Liberty Heights can be difficult, simply based on their lack of true resources. However, all those obstacles are no longer issues. The newly represented Goats have all the necessary appeals, from facility to housing to everything in-between, which should allow Wright to enjoy a seamless transition into the new endeavor. Add in the reputation that both sides have built prior to the hiring, and there should be plenty of talent set to come through Lincolnton."

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