Ishmail Carzell Wainright, better known as Ish Wainright, is an American-Ugandan basketball player who is currently signed on a two-way contract with the Phoenix Suns of the NBA.
Ish’s grandfather was a professional basketball player who played for the Boston Celtics in the 1959-60 season.
Ish has officially reached his total number of games on the Suns’ roster as a two-way player. What does this actually mean? Is he becoming a free agent?
He still has a chance at rejoining the team if they were to convert his contract into a standard one. The team does not have a G League affiliate currently to send him for development, though.
With the arrival of Kevin Durant to the already strong team just before the end of the 2023 NBA trade deadline, the Suns stand fourth in Western Conference with 32 wins and 27 losses as of this writing.
Let’s explore more about Ish Wainright.
|Ishmain Carzell Wainright
|September 12, 1994
|29 Years Old
|Kansas City, Missouri, United States
|Phoenix, Arizona, United States
|Two: Kai & Isabella
|6 ft. 6 in/1.98 m/198 cm
|250 lb/113 kg
|Professional Basketball Player
|Awards & Achievements
|Big 12 All-Defensive Team (2017)
Early Life & Education
Ishmail Carzell Wainright was born on September 12, 1994, in Kansas City, Missouri, United States, to his father, Calvin Wainright, and mother, Mary Collins.
On October 31, 2022, Wainright lost hi father Calvin, who was a pastor and youth basketball coach in Kansas City, Missouri. For his work in the city, he received the Kansas City People’s Choice Awards Humanitarian Award in 2020.
As mentioned before, his grandfather Maurice King played in the NBA, which Ish learned from his mother’s side of the family while playing for Baylor.
Ish also has a younger brother named Amaad, who, just like him, plays basketball. Amaad played collegiate basketball at Kansas State University in the NCAA.
Coming about the education side of things, Ish played two seasons at Montrose Christian School under the head coach Stu Vetter and began his prep career at Raytown South High School.
A consensus top-75 recruit, ESPN ranked Ish No. 28 in the 2013 class, and Rivals.com ranked him No. 52.
Coming out of high school, he committed to play for the Baylor Bears at Baylor University.
He played four season of basketball with the Bears and also tried his hands in football as a tight end for a season where he had four catches for 34 yards and 2 TDs.
As a matter of fact, his football passion took him as far as joining the Buffalo Bills of the NFL as an undrafted free agent. However, after failing to make it to the final roster, he left football and focused solely on basketball.
Wainright went undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft and signed with German basketball team Nürnberg Falcons BC on September 3, 2018.
After a season, he signed with another German team Rasta Vechta on July 2, 2019, where he averaged 10.5 points per game.
Likewise, in 2020 he signed with SIG Strasbourg of France.
After playing in German and French basketball teams, on August 8, 2021, Ish’s NBA dream came true when he signed a two-year non-guaranteed deal with the Raptors.
Nevertheless, the Raptors waived him on October 16.
He signed a two-way deal with the Suns just six days later and made his debut on November 19 in a win against the Mavericks.
On April 6, 2022, nearing the end of the 2021-22 season, Wainright scored his career-high 20 points against LA Clippers.
On August 4, 2022, Wainright signed another two-way contract with the Suns for the 2022-23 season.
And by the mid-season, the player already reached his total number of games on the Suns’ roster as a two-way player.
So, is he becoming a free agent?
He still has a chance to rejoin the team if the Suns were to convert his contract into a standard one. They do not have a G League affiliate to send him to, though.
Wife & Kid
Ish Wainright is extremely private when it comes to his relationship and private affairs.
However, in April 2022, Ish’s baby momma Ariana Andrea stormed social media and let everyone know that he is not as good of a father as he shows.
She claimed he was faking support for their differently abled son Kai for personal gain.
She further slammed Ish, saying he does not financially support his son Kai and never asked for a formal visitation.
On her now-deleted Instagram stories, Ariana mentioned “divorce,” suggesting that she & the NBA player could have been married secretly.
After getting all out of her chest, she set her account private & has not since made any news headlines.
Well, we cannot judge from one side of the story, and Ish never made any statements regarding the situation, so it’s hard to blame her for lashing out.
Aside from Kai, Ish reportedly has a daughter named Isabella, which can be evident from the tattoos he has inked on either side of his shoulders.
However, it is unknown if Andrea is Isabella’s mother.
Net Worth & Contracts
As of February 2024, Ish Wainright has an estimated net worth of $200k to $1 million.
He is an up-and-coming player in the league and is yet to score a proper contract with a team.
Several online sources claim his net worth to be around $2.5 million, which is just hard to believe since he has made just about $383k from NBA so far.
We know that NBA stars make a decent amount of money from their shoe and apparel deals, but no such deals with any companies have come out in the case of Ish.
On August 8, 2021, Ish signed a two-year $2.49 million contract with the Raptors, with a potential $1.24 million in annual salary.
However, he was waived on October 16 of the same year.
Just six days later (on October 22), Ish signed a two-way contract with the Suns.
On April 10, 2022, he signed a rest-of-the-season contract with the team (converting the two-way deal into a standard one), specifically to play in the 2022 NBA playoffs for the Suns.
In the 2021-22 season, Ish Wainright made a total of $258,588, of which $250,000 came from his deal with the Raptors & the rest from Phoenix Suns.
Due to his inferior game plays, the Suns declined $1.82 million qualifying offer on June 29, 2022 the Suns, that makes him an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
On August 4, 2022, Wainright signed a two-way contract with the Suns that allows a player to bag a salary that is half of the league’s minimum salary (i.e., $1 million).
A day earlier, the Suns offered Duane Washington Jr. on an another two-way deal on August 3.
As per the new rules in the two-way deals, a player could play in 50 games & can earn up to salary as high as $449,155.
Ish Wainright Has Dual Nationality
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Ish is an American by birth. But Mike Schmitz and George Galanopolous, Uganda men’s national basketball team coaches, pursued him to become a become a naturalized Ugandan citizen.
They also convinced him to secure an African passport to help build the team.
And this is how the American national became Ugandan-American. Ish represents Uganda’s national basketball team.
Unknown Facts About Ish Wainright
- Ish’s brother Amaad Wainright was arrested by U.S. Marshals after a road rage incident in January 2018.
- In November 2020, Wainright scored 36 points and 13 rebounds in his national team debut in a win over Cape Verde.
- He was on the roster during AfroBasket 2021.
- Wainright’s father Calvin was the biological son of former NBA player Maurice King. But his mother, Marvine Wainright, raised him with her husband, Alvin Joe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Did Ish Wainright play in NFL?
After college, the NBA player Ish sought a tryout for football. He accepted a rookie camp invite from Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent but didn't make the final cut.
Is Wainright married?
Wainright is father of two kids (Isabella & Kai), but never confirmed if he got married actually. Though his baby mama Andrea mentioned “divorce” when dissing him out in April 2020.
How much does Ishmail Wainright make?
Ish Wainright made a salary of $125,000 in the 2021-22 season. Though his paycheck for the 2022 season is not known.