A former college basketball star -- who was drafted by the Knicks in 2001 -- was found dead in an SUV in Brooklyn under a pile of trash bags ... officials say.
The victim has been identified as Michael Wright -- who played for the Arizona Wildcats from 1998 to 2001 ... and was part of the 2001 team that made it to the NCAA Tournament finals.
Officials say Wright's body was found in the backseat of a Lexus SUV with a head wound -- and it appears he may have taken his own life.
Family members have told media they do not suspect foul play.
Wright was 35.