Desoto County Sports

Alumni charity basketball returns to Olive Branch

The name K.J. Wright is a name well recognized and respected among those who follow football. The former Olive Branch High School football and basketball standout went on to a stellar career playing football at Mississippi State and a Super Bowl-winning career in the National Football League with the Seattle Seahawks. He retired from playing football after the 2021 season, the only year he played with the Las Vegas Raiders. 

Starting this season, Wright has become a defensive quality control coach with the San Francisco 49ers. 

Most people who follow Wright also know how much he cares about his hometown and the growth of youngsters, a reason why he started The Wright Way Foundation and why on July 6 Wright will host the third annual Olive Branch Alumni Charity Basketball Game. 

The game will feature top alumni basketball players. A women’s game will be followed by a men’s game.

This year’s contests will take a new twist from previous years, as Wright said he’s going to tap into some old rivalries.  

“We’re going to bring back to life the rivalry of Olive Branch High School versus Holly Springs High School, two iconic basketball programs,” said Wright. “They have a bunch of state championships. We have a few under our belt. And I just really want to just recapture what we did, you know, in our history.”

Here are the rosters for the July 6 games:

Wright said he told Holly Springs to bring their best 12 guys and he’d get the best 12 Olive Branch guys, That means both teams will have some players who have played some major college and professional ball.  

Wright is expecting a packed Charlie Bibbs Gymnasium for the contest, knowing the past interest in the alumni game has brought an impressive crowd.  

“We had a packed gymnasium the first two nights,” Wright said. “The city loved it and the former athletes loved the event, the history and the celebration. I believe if you take what Olive Branch did and now you bring in another city Holly Springs that had their own alumni game last year. They sold out.” 

Beyond basketball, Wright wants the evening to be about inspiring the community to do more for children.  

“We have got to give back to these kids and give back to these student athletes.,” Wright explained.  Let’s really focus and make sure that these kids have access to jerseys, access to cleats. We were able to send the dance team last year to New York City so they can compete, so all these proceeds are going to go a long way.”

Tickets for the game are being sold through a link at