Hornets' Rookie Gets First Taste Of Life As A Pro In New Orleans

Saturday, June 30th 2007, 3:09 pm
By: News On 6

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ The newest member of the New Orleans Hornets doesn't mind that he fell from a projected top-10 pick in the NBA draft and ended up at Number 13.

Julian Wright is happy he's still alive.

The Chicago native nearly drowned in a swimming pool as a child, having to be revived after being pulled from the water unconscious by a relative.

The 20-year-old told reporters Friday he'd be a fool not to be grateful for an opportunity to pursue his dream.

Wright averaged 12 points and 7.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season for the Kansas Jayhawks.

Coach Byron Scott says while those numbers aren't extraordinary, Wright's size, ball-handling skill and passing ability give him tremendous potential to develop into an NBA star.

After lunch at Dickie Brennan's steakhouse in the French Quarter, Wright took a limousine ride over to a YMCA gymnasium where he cheered by children lining the entrance.