'Intelligent and Charismatic' 15-Year-Old High School Basketball Player Jo-Jo Wright Dies in Car Crash

Uniondale High School basketball player Jomani "Jo-Jo" Wright died in a car crash on Wednesday.

The 15-year-old point guard was headed to a local gym in the Nassau County area with three teammates, ages 17, 17 and 18, at the time of the collision, the Nassau County Police Department said in a statement.

Wright was in the back seat when an 87-year-old driver hit the vehicle he was in, causing it to collide with a pole.

The superstar athlete was brought to the Nassau University Medical Center where they pronounced him dead, police say. 

His teammates were given medical attention at other local hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries. 

An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

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Wright leaves behind a great legacy at the Uniondale Knights. The young athlete averaged 19 points per game during his freshman season.

The Knights head coach Tom Diana told Newsday, "I am devastated. He was the best. A different kind of kid. He was funny and playful and full of life."

He added, "And he might have been one of the most talented players to ever walk the halls at our school. He had a great future."

"I know this gets lost because of what a great basketball player he was, but he was an even better person. He had goals but he was always a good person," Diana continued.  "I can go on about his talent on a basketball court for hours. People need to remember he was insightful, intelligent and charismatic. I am heartbroken today."


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Members of the Uniondale Knights gathered at their school's gym on Wednesday in his memory.

"Knowing I won't be able to [play] basketball with him really hurts," Wright's teammate Jordan Evelyn told CBS2. "He was always such a team player."

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran also announced on Thursday, "Today I will be filing legislation to rename a portion of Uniondale Avenue, Jomani 'Jo-Jo' Wright way."  

She continued, "Jo-Jo was an inspiration to his teammates, friends, family, and community. We honor his life, one filled with endless potential, which was cut short way too soon."

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