A team-high 16 points in the Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinals March 5, 2011 marked the last of the 1,316 points that LaKeisha Wright ’11 scored as a member of the Lafayette women’s basketball team. Two months later, she received a degree with a major in anthropology and sociology to close out her education on College Hill. But as it turned out, Wright was yet to complete both her academic and college basketball careers.
Following a storied tenure in which she played and started more games than any player in Lafayette women’s basketball history, Wright enrolled in the master’s of business administration program at Leeds Metropolitan University. Her continued education entails another year playing collegiate basketball in the United Kingdom, more than 3,400 miles from the court at Kirby Sports Center that she once called home.
“LaKeisha is one of the more talented student-athletes to ever come through our program,” says Lafayette head coach Diane Nolan. “She was a consummate team player, the hardest worker in practice, and the face of the program in the community.”
Patriot League student-athletes of Wright’s caliber often sign professional contracts in Europe or Asia after graduation – as former Leopards men’s basketball standout Jared Mintz ’11 is doing in Israel – but Wright had her sights set on a different post-Lafayette goal.
“I always knew that I wanted to get a master’s degree after Lafayette,” Wright says. “If the opportunity is there later to play professionally, I’ll consider it. But right now, getting my MBA is what’s most important.”
“Once the European coaches have a chance to see her play, she will definitely have opportunities,” adds Nolan. “But LaKeisha values her education; it’s no surprise that she is currently putting her education ahead of basketball.”
Wright follows in the footsteps of former teammate Vanessa Van De Venter ’08, who attended Leeds Metropolitan following her 1,000-point career in maroon and white.
“Vanessa went to school and played over there and told me that it was an awesome experience. It had been in the back of my mind since then,” Wright says. “Lafayette made me a better student and a better player. I had the right people around me in school and on the basketball court to make this possible.”