She is a professional basketball player for the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA. She played college basketball at the University of Virginia and was named the ACC Rookie of the Year. As a senior, she was named ACC Player of the Year, ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and National Defensive Player of the Year. She was also selected as a member of the USA Women’s U19 team which won the gold medal at the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship in Slovakia. She has won two WNBA championship titles in 2011 and 2013.
In an interview with CBN, she talked about her faith in Jesus Christ. As a new college student at UVA, she was focused on playing basketball and making good grades. She said of that time, “I’m a basketball player, so I need to play basketball and do well on the court; I need to make good grades so that I can stay eligible. There was no time to try to figure out who I was because who I was, was a student-athlete at that time.” Besides playing and studying, she also partied and by the time she arrived at her senior year, she began to feel that something was missing in her life. She said, “Once you come to your end you want to make sure that there was probably a little bit more purpose to your journey. You want to look back and see, ‘what did I do? What was my legacy?’ I felt like maybe I should be doing something more constructive. There was something missing.”
Around that time, she began to notice the difference in the lives of other Christian athletes. She said, “There was something I desired they had, and I wanted to know what it was but I never went up to them and asked them. Maybe it was something I was afraid of or insecure about so God came up to me.” After meeting a local pastor on a bus ride one day, she began studying the Bible with his wife on a regular basis. She said, “At first I was trying to find fault with her and see where I could catch her in a contradiction. At the time I was taking a German philosophy class where I learned about Martin Luther and his works. Both the class and the pastor’s wife challenged my thinking. I’m reading these books (95 Thesis) and studying with this lady about the Bible, the solidity of the Bible, and what the Bible is and how true it is and how can we be sure. She really wanted me to search it out for myself and read who canonized the Bible, the Council of Nicea, what happened? When people were deciding what books to put in the Bible; what books were left out? Why were they left out?”
The more she studied, the more God began to work in her life and she started making some changes. She said, “I just stopped cold turkey stopped doing some of the things I was doing; drinking, going out, partying, dressing in a certain way. My language changed altogether. My attitude changed about my teammates and basketball changed altogether.” After further Bible study, she began to realize that she needed more than just knowledge. She said, “Okay, I’m over this. I’ve looked and studied and read everything there is to read, bottom line is me as a person I’m not who I want to be. I’ve read scripture upon scripture about how I can change my everyday life. I’ve done it, I’ve put it into action. Overall I can’t be who I need to be without Christ.”
After a while, she went to a small church and gave her heart to Jesus Christ. After she was baptized, she said, “I had people there who knew me as well but didn’t know I was studying the Bible and they were like, ‘wow, is this the Monica we know?’ And it was awesome, I went into the tub they dunked me in and it was just great. I never cry—and I never, ever cry in public—but that day I bawled. I let it out in front of the whole church. I couldn’t contain it.” SIx weeks later in April 2010, her lifelong dream of playing in the WNBA came true as she was selected by the Minnesota Lynx as the second overall pick.
She said, “God has spoken to my heart and said this is a pause in preparation for more that I have planned for you in the future. I trust Him. I’m just going to hold fast to those promises and knowing that He has the best intent for me and He knows exactly what I need.”
Her name is Monica Wright.