Monica Wright trying to keep engagement to Kevin Durant private
JUL 09, 2013 1:39p ET
Don't expect the professional basketball players' engagement to be any different.
After confirming Sunday she'd accepted a proposal from the Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star, Wright declined to say anything more on the topic. Tuesday at the Minnesota Lynx's shootaround, the guard/forward reiterated her and Durant's stance.
"It's kind of private," she said bluntly.
So was a dating relationship between players who always publicly referred to each other simply as friends. Both dominant Washington D.C. area high school stars, they met at the 2006 McDonald's All-American games and have maintained contact ever since.
When the two became more than just pals is unclear, though Durant attended a Lynx exhibition in May and was also at their game last week at Los Angeles. Tweets dating back to 2011 suggest their connection may have been exclusive for the past couple years rather than months.
One of Wright's Instagram photos depicted her standing next to Durant dressed in Thunder gear. A Durant tweet said "maybe I need a basketball playing girlfriend...hmmm lol...monica wright where are u(love n basketball)." That was in reference to the 2000 movie "Love & Basketball," whose main character is named Monica Wright.
Last week, Durant only offered a television sideline reporter, "I like women's basketball."
One woman in particular, apparently.
The four-time NBA scoring champion's name's certainly more prominent than that of his fiancée, but Wright's been generating some on-court buzz of her own lately. Sunday, a day after she said "yes" to Durant, Wright scored a season-high 17 points in the Lynx's 91-59 victory over Phoenix.
Usually coach Cheryl Reeve's first option off the bench, Wright is expected to start in place of injured wing Seimone Augustus on Tuesday night against the Atlanta Dream. The matchup pits the WNBA's top two teams and will give Wright a chance to showcase her versatility in front of a national television audience.
Playing both guard positions and some small forward in an expanded set of roles this year, Wright averages 23.8 minutes, 9.7 points and 2.5 assists per outing. The four-year veteran now has an engagement ring to go along with her 2011 WNBA championship ring and would love to double up on the latter piece of jewelry, presumably before she ties the knot with Durant.
"I'm just having fun," said Wright, the all-time leading scorer in University of Virginia history. "Trying to enjoy my personal life and, at the same time, focus on basketball and enjoy myself on the court."
Durant, meanwhile, was in Orlando over the weekend to watch Oklahoma City's Summer League team, according to his Twitter account.
He and Wright aren't the first NBA-WNBA couple to get hitched. That distinction belongs to a former Lynx player.
In 2003, Susan King (now King-Borchardt) married Curtis Borchardt after both Stanford basketball players met in the Cardinal's training room while nursing injuries. She played three games with the Lynx before being waived, while he spent two seasons with the Utah Jazz.
The couple has a 4-year-old son and twins that are almost 2.
Sparks star Candace Parker is married to journeyman Shelden Williams. After playing for seven NBA teams in six seasons -- including a 15-game stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008-09 -- he signed with a French professional team before last season. They have a daughter who was born in 2009.
The NCAA tournament MVP in 2007 and 2008 with back-to-back national champion Tennessee, Parker is now in her sixth year as a pro. Her 2.67 blocks per game are good for second in the WNBA behind Phoenix rookie Brittney Griner, and her 9.1 rebounds per contest rank fourth in the league.
Seattle Storm forward Tina Thompson, the all-time leading scorer in WNBA history, and NBA point guard Damon Jones never married but had a son together in 2005. Thompson is the boy's primary caregiver -- the couple is no longer together -- and announced before the season it will be her last.
Jones played his final NBA campaign in 2008-09.
Before he became the first active male professional athlete in a team sport to announce he's gay, NBA free agent Jason Collins was engaged to three-year WNBA player Carolyn Moos. From 2001-03, she spent time with the Phoenix Mercury, Miami Sol and Minnesota Lynx.
That national story, which took a new turn Tuesday when Moos spoke publicly about Collins' coming out for the first time, is a far cry from Durant and Wright's hush-hush attraction, of course.
It's unclear when the two plan to make their vows official. But if they continue to maintain the secrecy that's marked their relationship to date, it's unlikely they'll announce a date anytime soon.
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