WNBA's Monica Wright Receives Off Court Assist from Friends
By Shannon Woodland
The 700 Club
CBN.com- Monica Wright worked hard to make it to the WNBA – it had been her dream since she got the attention of college coaches when she was only 13 years old. She’s played five seasons with the Minnesota Lynx, the team who selected her in the first round of the 2010 WNBA draft.
It came after a stellar career at the University of Virginia. In her senior year, she earned top honors, including ACC player of the year, and national defensive player of the year.
“From a small age I always knew I was going to be faster, stronger, and bigger in some cases, I’m not bigger now,” said Monica. “But that was the one thing that set me apart from the girls my age.”
Monica went to UVA on a full ride. Two things consumed her life. “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.”
But it wasn’t all business. Her philosophy was to study hard, play hard and party hard. Then in her senior year, Monica started thinking that perhaps there was more to life.
“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 started noticing that the Christian athletes she knew seemed to have life figured out.
Monica 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.”
That year Monica met a local pastor while riding a bus home from class. He suggested she study the Bible with his wife. Monica decided to give it a shot. But she had to be convinced that the claims in the Bible were true, and set out to prove they weren’t.
“At first I was trying to find fault with her and see where I could catch her in a contradiction.”
At the time Monica was taking a German philosophy class where she learned about Martin Luther and his works. Both the class and the pastor’s wife challenged her 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,” explains Monica. “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 Monica studied the Bible, the more she saw how God had ordered everything, including her life. So she started by making some changes.
“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.”
Still Monica felt there was something more. After a year of study, she realized that knowledge alone wasn’t enough to bring the change she needed.
“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,” said Monica. “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.”
Monica went to church and gave her heart to Jesus Christ and was baptized at the same time. She admits she doesn’t often show emotion, but that day she did.
“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.”
Later that year, her dream came true when she signed with Minnesota.
Now going into her sixth season Monica has had her ups and downs. But she’s not complaining – it’s all part of playing the game she loves. And when the day comes she hangs up her jersey for good, she knows Who has a plan.
“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.”
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