Photo courtesy of Hofstra University Athletics Department.
By David Cordova
In the borough of Queens, there are plenty of talents that are either well-known or overlooked. By not being recognized, the hidden gems take that as an opportunity to do whatever they have to do to stand out on the court.
For Justin Wright-Foreman, scoring is the thing that he does so well, which gives him recognition & brings him plenty of acclaim.
The 6-foot-1 shooting guard showcases a great vertical leap, but has developed a more versatile game during his time at Hofstra University, and has shown that he is not to be taken lightly on the court.
“What motivates me is just the fact that hard work really shows when you work out and stuff and like that. And obviously my family, and I have goals that I want to accomplish like getting to the NBA or overseas, whatever it may be. So that’s what motivates me, that’s what I’m working toward.” said Wright-Foreman.
Wright-Foreman hails from the Laurelton section of Queens, a middle-class area that looks like the suburbs. Another player who hails from the area is Doron Lamb, a former high school All-American at Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn, who later played two years at Kentucky, and was the 42nd pick in the 2012 draft.
“There’s a lot of ballers out there, there’s a lot of parks they go to, such as Cambria [Heights], Brookville, there’s a lot of good players out there, and especially with me, I started when I was younger. So, playing with the older people, it just gave me that confidence and encouragement to get better.”
Wright-Foreman started out his first two years of high school at national powerhouse Christ the King High School in Middle Village, Queens, and played freshman and junior varsity there.
“It was a good experience, but at some point, it was time for me to go, but overall, it was a good experience. I learned from some good coaches, and Coach [Greg] Lemko, my freshman coach and Coach Artie [Cox], my jayvee coach, it was really good. And being at a dynamic school like that, you really just learn from being around players like Omar Calhoun and Jon Severe,” said Wright-Foreman about his time at Christ the King.
He transferred to the High School of Construction as a junior and that’s where he really got noticed. During that season, he averaged 21.6 points per game. And then as a senior, he stepped up his performance by averaging 23.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and was named a First-Team selection by MSG Varsity and the New York Daily News and second-team All-New York State.
That season, he was also the fifth-leading scorer in the PSAL. In that span, the Red Hawks went a combined 44-13 and won two PSAL Queens Borough championships.
When asked about his time at the High School of Construction, Wright-Foreman replied, “Those final two years of high school benefitted me in the best way, they got me to where I am now. Coach Cory [Semper] helped me grow as a person and a basketball player. I can’t thank them enough.”
Wright-Foreman also played AAU with the New York Rens when they were on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit (they are now on the Nike EYBL circuit), and played well, which contributed to scholarship offers.
“It was a good experience, traveling with a lot of guys,” said Wright-Foreman about his experience with the Rens, “And I see that one person from that organization, Jalen Lecque, and how the culture is and they’re raising good Division I players, it’s just amazing to see that.”
Wright-Foreman committed to Hofstra University as a high school senior and chose the perfect fit for him. When asked about choosing Hofstra, he replied, “Just the organization and Speedy Claxton was one of the people I looked up to growing up, and seeing him play in a video game and me being 10-15 minutes away from the school in Laurelton. Like I said, staying close to home and playing in front of my grandparents, it was just a blessing that I could get there.”
As a freshman with the Pride, he averaged 1.6 points per game. But there was one game in his sophomore season, when Hofstra played against Kentucky at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn that brought him a lot of attention, when he scored 14 points. From then on, he became one of the Pride’s most featured players. That season, he averaged 18.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
Then last season, as a junior, he took his game to another level, as he averaged 24.4 points per game, and finished as the fifth-leading scorer in the nation. For his efforts, he was named the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) Player of the Year.
When asked about his three years at Hofstra, Wright-Foreman replied, “My first year was a learning experience, then the next two years, I just grew, as a basketball player and as a person as well. Just being around those players, and being around the coaching staff as well, just helped me grow, and I learned to be a better player.”
On being the fifth-leading scorer in the nation: “I always feel there’s room for improvement, rather than just scoring, but it was a good experience, just to know that I worked for that, so my work just paid off, and it shows.”
Now that his senior season is approaching, it’s time for him to continue to progress, and hopefully lead Hofstra to its first NCAA Tournament appearance for the first time since 2001.
When asked about his goal for his upcoming senior season with the Pride, he replied, “My goal is to be the best player I can be. [I want to] be Player of the Year again, lead the country in scoring possibly, and overall just get better and accomplish my goal, which is playing overseas or in the NBA.”
And on possibly leaving Hofstra with a CAA championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance: “It would mean a lot, it would show that all of our hard work paid off throughout the year, so overall, we just gotta get better throughout the course of the year, and it would mean a lot.”
Highlights of Justin Wright-Foreman:
Courtesy of Justin Wright-Foreman.
Courtesy of Buckets R Us.
Courtesy of Buckets R Us.
Courtesy of RI Affiliated.
Courtesy of ILuvBball.
Courtesy of Ke Visions.