Abby Wright is no stranger to adversity, on or off the court.
The senior forward from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is working towards a degree in homeland security with a graduation date slated for December.
She found her passion for criminal justice in high school, but settled on homeland security as she began looking into a path for her future.
When schools began recruiting Wright for basketball, the criminal justice program at EKU sealed the deal.
For Wright, high school was a defining time in her life. Going to three different schools over the course of four years taught her resilience.
“High school kinda led me to EKU because I was able to kinda work through whatever was thrown at me,” Wright said.
After realizing she wanted something bigger for herself, Wright transferred to a new school her junior year following basketball.
When that fell through, Wright found herself moving once again, this time to Oakland High School in Murfreesboro. It was during her time at Oakland that her basketball team made it to the state championship, only to fall by two in double overtime.
Wright credits her inspiration to her family, with whom she’s close.
She dedicates her basketball career to her “mamaw” and her friend from high school, both of whom have passed away in recent years.
“I play for them,” Wright said.
From here, Wright is focused on graduation and winning a championship for EKU. She says she’s determined to use her senior year to be a positive role model to those coming up behind her.
Wright says it’s neat to see what the seniors last year were feeling around this time, and that despite the responsibility that comes with being one of the oldest on the team, it’s important to her that the younger ones have a good leader.
After graduation, Wright plans on going to graduate school to continue studying public administration. After that, she plans on going into a federal position or into state law enforcement.
Wright’s ultimate goal is to work with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Coming from a place burdened by a drug epidemic, Wright is fascinated by how people start abusing drugs, how it makes people feel and what kind of role drugs play in society.
Wright believes the DEA is the first step in keeping drugs away from the next generation.
Learning from her basketball career, Wright plans to take leadership and endurance into her career in law enforcement.
Wright says the dedication involved with being a student athlete as well as learning how to deal with adversity through tough defeats will aid her in her future career.
“I’ve done it for four years,” Wright said.
“Even during the times it got tough and in your head you’re thinking ‘I want to stop’ or ‘I want to quit,’ we push through it.”
As for being a role model on campus, Wright wants to inspire the next class of basketball players, as well as general underclassmen.
“Stay true to yourselves because college can change you in the coming years,” Wright said.
“Just follow your dreams. If you don’t like your degree, you have time. Go do something that you love, not what someone’s telling you to do.”