By Eric Christensen

(CBS4) – University of Colorado senior guard McKinley Wright IV wasn’t the only one to get emotional during the final homestand of his career.

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“McKinley Wright is going to down as one of the greatest players in Colorado basketball history,” said the Buffs head coach Tad Boyle. “What he’s done from where he’s come from and what he’s overcome is just really, really special.”

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Kin’s final three home games were vintage.

A career high 14 assists in a win over USC.

A season high 26 points in a Buffs win over the Bruins.

And he staked his claim as the best point guard in the Pac12 thoroughly outplaying Remy Martin in a win over Arizona State University.

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His performances prompted a well-deserved hug from his coach and a round of applause from his family, who was watching him play for the first time this year.

“It was hard, especially having your bags ready and then they say it’s cancelled,” said Wright’s mother Yolanda Hitchcock.

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“We were ready to come but they kept telling us it was cancelled,” said McKinley Wright III.

“It’s been a terrible year, I’m so happy to be back,” added Hitchcock.

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Watching McKinley play is something the family, especially his dad, doesn’t take for granted.

“Me being that young and not know how the system works, I didn’t think it would be as long as it was,” said CU’s senior point guard. “I tried not to play too much attention to it but as time went on you start to wonder, so it was devastating.”

Instead of being angry and bitter, young McKinley Wright IV chose forgiveness and support.

“Before he was arrested, I saw the love he has for my mother, the love he had for me and my cousins and our family as a whole,” said Wright. “I’m the fourth and that’s my role model, someone I look up to, so it was easy for me to forgive and look past and move onto the better things in life.”

“If he wasn’t bouncing a ball, he was thinking about his dad,” said Hitchcock. “I think his dad was his strength and motivation to keep going.”

“My family bringing him to visit, my mom sticking with him, that helped me out a lot,” said Wright III.

Since dad was released in 2017, he’s following in his son’s footsteps, showing Kin the same kind of support he received.

“Now that your dad is out, he shows up at your game rocking your your jersey, cheering louder than anybody in the arena, how does that feel?” CBS4’s Eric Christensen asked Wright.

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“That feels great man, it’s a dream come true,” he said. “He never got to see me play ball in middle school or in high school. The first time he saw me play live was in college against high-level competition. To have his support and see him in the stands with my family yelling and screaming, it means everything.”

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For McKinley to overcome what he has and excel at CU is the stuff of legends. It’s easy to see what he means to the Buffs. But that pales in comparison to the role he play in his family.

Eric Christensen