Jay Wright, Assistant Coach for the U.S. Men’s Basketball team at Tokyo Olympics, Recalls Near-Fatal Flight That Gave Him a New Perspective

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Jay Wright is interviewed by Keith Jones on NBC Philadelphia about a harrowing airplane flight.
Image via nbcphilladelphia.com.

A harrowing airplane flight influenced Jay Wright and his coaching approach, reports Keith Jones for nbcphiladelphia.com.

Wright is currently the assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s Basketball team at the Tokyo Olympics.

Back in 2005, Jay Wright was on a Rhode Island flight with Jones and the Villanova men’s basketball team.

The plane flew through a blinding winter storm and had to make an emergency landing.

 “I was sitting in the front seat as I always do and I saw the flight attendant get her phone out and I saw her start crying,” Wright recalled. “She was panicked.”

The plane climbed rapidly, then fell fast, careening out of control. Twelve minutes later, the pilot was able to find the icy runway and land.

 “All of us thought on the plane, ‘this is it,’” Jay Wright said. “And it makes you think. If this was my life, how was I? Was I a good person, was I a good husband?  Was I a good father or not, not how many games did we win, or anything like that.”

Afterward, under Wright, Villanova earned its first-ever No. 1 seed in the NCA tournament and years later, two national championships.

Find out more at nbcphiladelphia.com about Jay Wright’s unique flight.

Jay Wright talks about being entered in the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame.

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