South Australian basketball star Abby Bishop has a unique story.
This talented sportsperson made a courageous and life-changing decision 16 months ago, taking custody of her older sister Chloe’s baby girl, Zala, two days after she was born.
"My sister wasn't very well and Zala was going to have to go into foster care," Bishop explained
"Although they do such a wonderful job, I wanted Zala to stay in the family.
Bishop knows the time as a ‘single mum’ has been strenuous and she has brilliantly adapted to a lifestyle change without preparation to motherhood.
"It's been tough, for sure," the University of Canberra Capitals player said
"I didn't have time to prepare at all, but I have adjusted really well and I am still learning every day.
"But it's been worth it and I wouldn't change a thing!
Her commitment to Zala hasn’t affected her basketball, as Bishop is a favourite to take out the 2014/15 WNBL MVP award for the first time in her career.
"For me I am just enjoying playing and I think when you're having fun you seem to play your best basketball,” the 26-year-old said,
"I had a good pre-season so I was ready and prepared, more so than previous years and this season is the best I’ve played.
"I still have lots more to give I feel, but being the only post I have had to take extra shots and do that little extra everywhere else.”
Australia’s greatest women’s basketballer Lauren Jackson believed Bishop will ‘probably be captain of the Australian Opals one of these days’.
Being captain of your country is an honour Bishop would love.
"I do look at myself as a leader,” she explained.
“But (captaining the Opals) is not something I have thought about.”
“Of course it's something that all leaders would love to do, but it's not a personal goal, or something I am really hoping for.”
Born in Booleroo and growing up on a farm five minutes out of Melrose – approximately three hours north of Adelaide – Bishop attended Melrose Primary School.
At 10, she moved to Laura where she attended Laura Primary School before going onto Gladstone High and later Cabra Dominican College in Adelaide.
Initially playing netball and when aged 13, she decided to try her hand at basketball.
“I was a late starter though, but so glad I made the switch as I fell in love with basketball.
“Mum drove me from Port Pirie to Adelaide three times a week for basketball,
“My mum gave up a lot of her life, to give me the opportunity to excel at basketball and I owe it all to her
"My mum is my harshest critic yet my number one supporter.
"My mum was a good netball player, so I am going say I got my determination and will to succeed from her.”
Bishop’s success earned her an opportunity with the Australian Institute of Sport when she was awarded a scholarship.
She played with the AIS in 2005/06 before signing with the Canberra Capitals in 2006 through to 2010.
In 2006 she claimed the WNBL rookie of the Year award, as fellow SA girls Steph Talbot and Alex Wilson have done since.
In the 2008/09 season she won a spot in the All Star Five averaging an impressive of 16.7 points and 10.9 rebounds a game.
In 2010 she was drafted by WNBA team Seattle Storm winning the WNBA Championship.
Changing club’s in 2010/11, playing for Dandenong Rangers she was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 15 points, before a move back to Adelaide to play for the Adelaide Lightning she averaged 16.4ppg, 8.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
This superb form was awarded with a spot on the Opals Olympic team in London where Australia won a bronze medal and this is her greatest career achievement to date.
Bishop has been a part of the Canberra Capitals 2007, 2009, 2010 WNBL Championship wins and her desire to win another WNBL crown is still a major driving force along with the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"Short term is to win a championship with Canberra.”
"Long term is to represent Australia at the next Olympics!”