Georgia Tech’s Moses Wright leaves Indianapolis

Georgia Tech forward Moses Wright dunks during the first half of the Jackets' February game against Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.
Caption
Georgia Tech forward Moses Wright dunks during the first half of the Jackets' February game against Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.

Credit: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

INDIANAPOLIS – Georgia Tech forward Moses Wright left Indianapolis to return home to Atlanta on Saturday. Coach Josh Pastner, while careful not to identify Wright because of HIPAA regulations, shared the update with the AJC on Saturday.

“The individual will be transported back to Atlanta (Saturday) through all proper protocols and procedures,” Pastner said.

Tech flew home Friday night after its first-round loss in the NCAA Tournament to Loyola Chicago. Without the ACC player of the year, the Yellow Jackets lost 71-60. Wright tested positive Monday and then was isolated in his hotel room at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, not permitted to leave his room at any point until he left for good.

“The individual that was not able to participate was heartbroken,” Pastner said. “Was heartbroken, was sad, was upset, was angry, because the individual felt fine. Which is the most important thing. Thank God he felt fine. The individual, he’s worked so hard. Not to be a part of (the tournament), the individual had a wide range of emotions, which would be understandable, and that individual is maybe not a wear-it-on-your-sleeves, emotional person. But it wasn’t easy for him.”

The public-health department of Marion County, in which Indianapolis is located, “recommends that individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 isolate for a minimum of 10 days,” according to a health order issued in January.

Any decision to send Wright home would have had to first be cleared by the county, the NCAA and Tech.

“All protocols and procedures are being followed in bringing the individual back to Atlanta,” Pastner said.

The NCAA’s COVID-19 protocol allows for individuals who are diagnosed while at one of its championships to return to campus before the isolation period ends. The NCAA or school can arrange for the individual to return to campus by rental car. If approved by the team physician and the local public-health authority, the NCAA can also arrange for a return via a car service approved to transport infected individuals or with school personnel, family or someone else who is either vaccinated or within the 90-day post-infection window.

Pastner acknowledged that the individual (i.e., Wright) was the subject of what he called testing “abnormalities” experienced after the Jackets’ win in the ACC title game March 13 in Greensboro, N.C. After being cleared, he was permitted to travel to Indianapolis with another member of the travel party. It’s believed the other person was vaccinated and the travel was completed in a manner following NCAA protocol.

Once in Atlanta, Wright was to complete his isolation following Tech’s protocols for infected students, which are in line with Fulton County’s health ordinances. He continued to be asymptomatic Saturday, Pastner said. He added that he did not know how Wright was infected.

“Zero,” he said. “The individual was in our bubble the entire time. That’s what makes the virus so tricky. No way to know. The individual was in our bubble the entire time. We took all precautions necessary to avoid that, and you weren’t 100% safe. It just shows you how tricky the virus is.”

Tech wasn’t the only team to be impacted while in Greensboro. Both Virginia and Duke withdrew after positive tests. Two officials who worked Tech games in Greensboro, Roger Ayers and Ted Valentine, were reported to be part of a group of six officials who were sent home from Indianapolis after they went to dinner together Sunday night and one tested positive.

Teammate Jose Alvarado wore Wright’s No. 5 in his honor against Loyola.

“We kept in contact with ‘Mo,’” Alvarado said after the game. “He was in great spirits. What can you say to a guy that works his butt off and he can’t play in the big dance? It’s hard to say anything, but he did a good job staying focused and talking to us and making sure we were trying to get ready for (Friday).”

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