Shaka Smart adds former NAIA Player of the Year to Marquette’s 2022-23 roster

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Marquette men’s basketball prior to its loss to Creighton in the BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinals March 10. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Marquette men’s basketball head coach Shaka Smart has spent the first month of the offseason busy shaping up next season’s roster. 

On Monday afternoon, Smart announced the addition of former Loyola University New Orleans forward Zach Wrightsil to the roster. 

“I’m extremely excited about Zach joining our program,” Smart said in a press release. “He is a flat-out winner who possesses tremendous humility and poise. As we continue to build our program culturally, Zach will provide leadership and maturity.”

Wrightsil, the reigning National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Player of the Year, averaged 18.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game en route to leading the Wolf Pack to a 37-1 record and an NAIA National Championship last season.

“On the court, Zach’s versatility and ability to play with violence will be a welcomed addition to our team,” Smart said in the statement.

The 6-foot-7, 205-pound forward became Loyola’s all-time leader in points (2,104), rebounds (1,065) and assists (480) across his four seasons with the program.  

After becoming a standout player at the NAIA level over the past few years, Wrightsil will use his fifth and final year of eligibility with the Golden Eagles while making the jump to the BIG EAST stage.  

I am humbly blessed to announce that I will be continuing my collegiate career with @MarquetteMBB. Not done yet let’s work,” Wrightsil said on Twitter following his announcement.

Wrightsil provides Marquette with a boost on both sides of the ball, following the graduations of Darryl Morsell and Kur Kuath and the potential departure of Justin Lewis to the NBA Draft.  

With Smart’s newest addition, Wrightsil joins as the fourth newcomer with incoming first-years Ben Gold, Sean Jones and Chase Ross to the Golden Eagles’ program for the 2022-23 season.

This article was written by Sam Arco. He can be reached at samuel.arco@marquette.edu or on Twitter @SamArcoMU.