NASHVILLE - Vanderbilt women's basketball head coach Stephanie White added former Purdue collegiate standout and WNBA member, Shereka Wright to the Vanderbilt women's basketball staff on Monday. Wright will serve as associate head coach working with the Vanderbilt post players and serving as recruiting coordinator.
"We are so thrilled to welcome Shereka into our women's basketball family," said White. "She brings a tremendous amount of experience to our program and is a proven winner on and off the floor. She's a great connector that will make an immediate impact in the lives of our players and our community."
Wright, who joins the Vanderbilt staff from Alabama, has been a critical part of Alabama's resurgence in women's basketball. Wright helped the Crimson Tide to back-to-back 20-win seasons as the Tide reached the quarterfinals of the 2018 WNIT.
"I'm excited to be a part of the Vanderbilt family," said Wright. "Stephanie and her staff have tremendous knowledge about the game and l look forward to growing and learning under them. The program has a bright future and I'm excited to be on the journey with them."
Under Wright's tutelage,Alabamaforward Ashley Williams finished her career ranked No. 9 in scoring (1,450) and No. 5 in rebounding (859) and notched 20 career double-doubles, six of which came in her last nine games. She was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week and earned a spot on the ncaaW's Starting Five after leading the Tide to wins over Tennessee and Auburn.
Additionally, under Wright's direction, SEC All-Freshman selection Ashley Knight set the Alabama single-season record and led the league in blocks with 90. She is the first student-athlete in program history to finish as the SEC's leader in blocks.
Wright also was instrumental in constructing a signing class that ranked in the top 25 nationally, featuring both the Alabama and Mississippi high school players of the year.
Wright, a 12-year coaching veteran, began her coaching career at Texas Tech and was responsible for the perimeter players, recruiting, scouting, academics and equipment. She spent seven seasons in Lubbock with head coach Kristy Curry, helping the Lady Raiders advance to the postseason five times and win 20 or more games in her final three seasons at Tech.
Prior to coaching, she spent two seasons in the WNBA, averaging 3.1 points and 1.6 rebounds for the Phoenix Mercury, but missed all of the 2006 season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon during training camp.
Wright was selected as the 13th overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft by the Detroit Shock after a stellar collegiate playing career under Kristy Curry at Purdue. She was the third player in program history to be named to the All-Big Ten First Team on three occasions and was also honorable mention Kodak All-America as well as a finalist for the Wade Trophy, Naismith Award and Wooden Award. As a freshman in 2001, Wright was named to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team.
Throughout her four-year career, the Boilermakers appeared in four NCAA tournaments, advancing to the national championship game in 2001, the Elite Eight in 2003 and the Sweet 16 in 2004, and won two Big Ten regular season titles (2001, 02) and a pair of Big Ten Tournament crowns (2003, 04).
Wright graduated from Purdue in 2004 with a degree in health and fitness.