Water polo player has all the Wright stuff

With four more goals this weekend, men’s water polo senior John-Claude Wright keeps creeping up the lists as one of the nation’s top scorers this year and one of GW’s best ever. But the 6-foot-1 native of Jamaica does not seem to have let his rising standing get to his head.

“I’m honored to be at that status,” Wright said. “It is a big deal and it’s not so much because the records aren’t going to define me as a player. It’s just records.”

Wright’s accomplishments are not limited to the collegiate level, where he has 59 goals this season and 191 spanning four years. For two years starting in 2005, Wright played on Jamaica’s junior national team before moving up to the senior team, where he still participates.

“It’s awesome and it gives me an opportunity to play all year round to better myself,” Wright said. “I gained experience with water polo at different levels around the world. I just play and have fun.”

Some may expect a player like Wright, a collegiate standout and member of his national team, may harbor dreams of joining an Olympic team. Yet while Wright said he might want to play in Europe after graduation, he acknowledged that college water polo is probably it for him, instead setting his eye on becoming a civil engineer.

Men’s water polo head coach Scott Reed said Wright is an extremely gifted shooter.

“J.C. is a very calm but intense player,” Reed said. “He has always been a guy that never backs down from any challenge and very rarely gets unnerved.”

Wright is very proud of his Jamaican roots and has hopes of going back home sometime in the future. He cites Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world and a fellow Jamaican, as his role model.

“He works hard, plays hard, and performs,” Wright said. “He’s the ultimate athlete.”

Reed said other players on the team clearly have a lot to look up to in Wright.

“J.C. is a leader by example. His teammates see how intense he is in games and they tend to follow this lead,” Reed said. “The younger players are learning a lot from his example.”

Along those lines, Wright said he and his fellow Colonials maintain a good chemistry between them.

“We mesh well and we have a good team dynamic and good person-to-person relationships,” Wright said.

While Reed said Wright leads through his actions, he is not without advice for his teammates.

“Always wipe a clean slate. Never let the bad thing bring your game down. Always look to then next inning, or whatever the sport is,” Wright said. “Keep moving forward, always.”

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