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When she was in fifth grade, Monica Abbott declared that she would one day become an Olympic athlete. In the decades that would follow, her prediction would prove stunningly true, as she would not only compete in the Games but go on to claim two Silver Medals as pitcher for Team USA softball.
In her twenty-plus years as a professional athlete, Abbott has set a high standard of firsts and achievements—but her talents and tenacity have not only shattered records but have also created new possibilities for female athletes everywhere. In Rise and Shine, Abbott chronicles significant lessons and experiences from her childhood, her University of Tennessee and professional softball years, her time in the Olympics, and beyond. Throughout the book, she shares insights cultivated on her journey, offering them to readers of all ages and skill sets to consider as they endeavor to bring their lives into contact with their dreams.
How do we set goals yet unseen? How do we thrive even while overcoming obstacles? And perhaps most importantly, how do we turn our successes into advantages for others? With a foreword by world-renowned tennis icon Billie Jean King, Rise and Shine is more than a record of medals and firsts; it is the story of making dreams come true and of lifting others with you as you rise.
MONICA ABBOTT is an American professional softball player. During her more than twenty years as a professional athlete, she has earned seventeen championship titles, two Olympic Silver Medals, and multiple MVP awards. She was a nine-time All Star and five-time Pitcher of the Year in the National Pro Fastpitch League. Currently, Abbott plays for Team USA and with Toyota Motor Corporation in the Japan Softball League.
DEBBY SCHRIVER retired from the University of Tennessee after 32 years of service and is a freelance writer. Her books include To Read My Heart, The Jour- nal of Rachel Van Dyke, 1810-1811; In the Footsteps of Champions: The University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers, the First Three Decades; and Whispering in the Daylight: the Children of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries and Their Journey to Freedom.
ROB SCHRIVER develops training curriculum for the Oak Ridge National Lab. He is also a freelance writer and editor for the University of Tennessee Press. His books include Life is Sport with the Volume Turned Up with Joan Cronan, and Mama Said: A Daughter’s Escape from the Alamo Christian Foundation with Christhiaon Coie. He teaches classes for Pellissippi State Community College.
"When you think of iconic and game-changing athletes in our sport of fastpitch softball, Monica Abbott immediately comes to mind. Her willingness to leave California and venture to the University of Tennessee set the collegiate landscape on fire. Her dedication to Team USA brought back numerous gold medals all while having a storybook professional career in Japan. Monica has set numerous records at every level of the game she’s played. The name ‘Monica Abbott’ will be revered throughout the history of our sport—not just as an outstanding athlete, but an outstanding role model and person.”—Michele Smith, ESPN analyst and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist
“Monica Abbott is one of the most impactful players we have ever seen in our collegiate program. She had a vision of where we were going. She had a bigger view of life beyond just herself. She impacted softball at the University of Tennessee, all the SEC, nationally, and internationally. Rise and Shine: The Monica Abbott Story offers insight into the talent, skills, and hard work required to achieve athletic greatness. More importantly, we see Monica’s humility and her dedication to give to her sport and life. She is an inspiration to all of us.”—Joan Cronan, women’s athletic director Emeritus, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
“Monica’s career illustrates the elusive accomplishment of dominance and longevity. Her will to be great and stay great has inspired generations of athletes, including myself. Competing against Monica in my playing career was a gift because each moment demanded an elite level of mental and physical stamina. Being challenged in that way is something I will always be grateful for.”—Lauren Chamberlain, Women’s Professional Fastpitch commissioner