By LACEY NICHOLSON ’17
Pacific Lutheran University’s Assistant Women’s Basketball coach has put in countless hours of hard work to pursue her goal of playing basketball professionally overseas.
Gabby Wade is training to travel overseas to play professional basketball. Though she does not have a set destination of where she wants to pursue her goal, she has been constantly working hard in order to make it possible.
Wade is comfortable with her athletic ability. She works out six days a week, making her extremely fit and in shape. Wade is able to play many different positions on the basketball court because of her physical power. One strength that she believes will help her on this journey is her experience as a coach. Having been a coach, she is able to see the game from a different perspective, which helps increase her understanding of the game and team concept. Though Wade is aware of her strengths, she still lacks confidence.
“I think the reason I have not gone overseas yet is because of my confidence,” Wade said.
Wade has a handful of people who help her to build her confidence and support her in this life changing opportunity. Wade’s training coach, Kendrick Howard, has been a key supporter in her transition. He has helped her with physical skills on the court and also mental skills, like being able to read situations and react quickly. PLU Women’s Basketball coach, Jennifer Childress, has also helped Wade along her journey. Childress has contacted coaches overseas, to open up possibilities for Wade.
“She needs the right connections,” Childress said. “Each year it gets harder because so many new college grads want the same opportunity.”
Wade is constantly in the gym putting work in to increase her confidence and her skills. She sets aside over four hours a day just to improve herself, working out two separate times in one day. While working on skills, Wade mainly focuses on shooting and ball handling. She finds it productive to combine drills by dribbling or shooting the ball while doing footwork on the ladder. Wade increases her foot speed by jumping rope and increases her physical strength by lifting weights regularly.
As Wade continues to grow stronger physically and mentally each week, she is excited to find out what the future holds. With all of this excitement, though, comes fear. Wade has all of the support and tools she needs to embark on this journey, yet she still feels terrified.
“I have been sitting at this point for so long. I either have to jump and trust that something good is going to come out of it or I just have to walk away,” Wade said.