What happened to Kevin Durant’s fiancee in Korea?
WNBA guard Monica Wright causes quite a stir with abrupt departure
By Lee Kyutae
One would think a person engaged to marry one of the best and the highest paid players in the NBA doesn’t have to get a second job overseas, but that’s what Monica Wright was doing in Korea.
The 25-year old WNBA guard and fiancee of NBA Superstar Kevin Durant (under contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder for $86 million over five years), coming off her rookie season with the WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx, had signed up to play for KEB-Hana Bank Women’s Basketball Team, for a monthly salary of approximately $25,000 before tax.
After six games, she abruptly left her Korean team and returned to the United States, causing quite a stir.
KEB-Hana Bank claims Wright packed up and left, in middle of the night, without permission. The clubs says she did send a text message to an interpreter basically stating that there was a family emergency and that she had to leave immediately. Some other reports say Wright mentioned something about her father being gravely ill.
At any rate, KEB-Hana Bank says what caught the club off guard is that Wright had asked for permission to leave during their All-star break on Monday, at around 5 pm (K.S.T.), and it was granted. Then, about an hour later, she changed her mind and asked if her mother could be brought over to stay with her for a few days, and that request was also granted. Wright was supposed to get back to the team with specific dates. The team says that it was planning on making the necessary arrangements to accommodate her requests but instead, she disappeared, according to the club.
One report says she may have been homesick, as the team had invited a pastor for Wright, who is a Christian, and was seen in tears during prayer.
Another report states that she took it hard when her struggling team lost a heart-breaker, as her potential game winner at the end of game was blocked by American opponent Shekinna Stricklen, who plays for the Seattle Storm in the WNBA.
Whatever the reason maybe, KEB-Hana Bank, down to only one international player in Nakia Sanford (while most other clubs have two international players on their roster), just defeated Samsung 60-57 without Wright to finally get out of the cellar at 2-5.
With a little bit of breathing room, KEB-Hana Bank says they would like to talk to Wright before replacing her on the roster but admit that Wright is not likely to return.
WKBL is known to ban foreign players and even their respective agents for lesser infractions and KEB-Hana Bank says they are considering taking the severest measures all the way up to FIBA to discourage foreign players from taking the Korean leagues lightly in the future.
Wright was averaging 10.2 points and 3.7 rebounds while playing less than 14 minutes per game.