MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Lynx recently had their star forward, Seimone Augustus, go down with an injury. Losing a star like that could decimate some teams. But for the Lynx, it's no big deal.
Head coach Cheryl Reeve immediately knew what she would do. Reeve says, "It was automatic that Monnie (Monica Wright) would step in there and she played great."
In 3 games as a starter, Wright has averaged 16.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. And she's been a big reason why Minnesota has gone 3-0 in those games.
But, it's been an up and down journey to get to this point. Wright was one of the best players in the country in high school and college. She was taken with the 2nd overall pick in the 2010 WNBA draft and started most of her rookie season. But since then, she's spent most of her time coming off the bench.
Wright says, "It was a difficult transition, you know, I had never really been a bench player before, but everything is a learning process and...that was a huge thing for my development in order to become a well-rounded player."
Wright has the talent to start for almost any other team in the league. But whether she's a starter or a back-up is secondary for her.
She says, "You could have that perspective, but then that would be kind of selfish perspective, and that's not me."
Coach Reeve adds, "Monnie strikes me as the type of person that where she is, the quality of people, winning, those things I think are of paramount importance. So I think Monnie fits that mold of a really smart person that recognizes what a great situation she has."
Recently, Wright made some national news with her engagement to Thunder star Kevin Durant. She's working hard at keeping her personal life private. And she's using basketball as an escape from all the prying eyes.
Wright says, "Basketball is kind of like my getaway, mental getaway, I'm sure it's like that for every basketball player, you know once you're on the court, that's all that matters is what's on the court, you don't even know what's going on on the outside."
While it's easy to say you're tuning out the distractions, it's not that easy in practice. But, Wright says, she does her best to tune it all out.
She says with a smile, "When you really want that getaway, yeah, it's easy."