The 26-year-old Australian basketballer who adopted the baby her sister couldn't raise.

“I’m one of those people that thrive off people telling me I can’t do things. It’s made me work… harder.”

Abby Bishop was a young basketballer staring her dreams in the face when she took her niece home from the hospital two days after her birth and took on the role of the baby’s mother.

It’s a decision many of us say we’d make in a heartbeat – it’s like saying ‘I’d take a bullet for you’ to your close family and friends – but none of us know how we’ll really react in those situations.

Abby made the tough, courageous decision to put her niece, Zala, first because Zala’s mother “wasn’t very well.”

That was two years ago. Abby was just 24 at the time and about to embark on international success.

Abby and Zala. Image via Instagram.

In an interview with Good Morning America, Abby said it was clear her sister was unable to look after the baby and Abby feared Zala was going to go into foster care unless she stepped in.

“It was tough with no sleep and adjusting to having another little human with me 24/7, but I have amazing friends who help me and my mum helped me when she could,” she told Daily Mail Australia.

“I’m not going to lie and say it was easy but I just got through it.”

Zala is now 20 months old, living in the US city of Seattle with Abby as Abby plays for the city’s women’s National Basketball Association team. It’s a huge career move for Abby, and one that doesn’t seem like it was an easy decision.

Abby appeared on Good Morning America to discuss being a mum to Zala. You can watch the interview below. Post continues after video.


As Abby supports her niece, she’s being supported by her career as well. Just days after taking newborn Zala home to Canberra, Abby was on the court with Zala in the sidelines as she played for the Canberra Capitals.

“All the teams I’ve been part of have just been amazing in terms of taking me and Zala on,” she told Daily Mail Autralia last year.

“I just can’t thank the Canberra Capitals enough for putting childcare in my contract and letting me take Zala on road trips.”

Abby and Zala. Image via Instagram.

Of course, it hasn’t always been easy.

Abby was forced to pull out of the world championships last year, where she was supposed to play for the Australian Opals, when a new team policy meant Zala would have to stay in a different hotel to Abby.

“Taking on Zala I knew I was going to have to deal with some things within sport and for me that was not being able to go to world championships because of the policy they put in place,” she said.

“I’d just taken on a baby that wasn’t mine and they weren’t as understanding as all my other teams have been.

“I understand it’s the highest level, playing for Australia, but it’s a unique situation and needs to be looked at differently than another mother’s situation with a husband and a biological child.”

Abby and Zala. Image via Instagram.

The reason she couldn’t play? Basketball Australia said Zala would be disruptive.

It’s things like this that set Abby back in her attempts to juggle single motherhood and a career, but she’s getting through it with an overwhelmingly positive attitude.

“There are lots of people who thought I wouldn’t be able to do it,” she told Good Morning America.

“I’m one of those people that thrive off people telling me I can’t do things. It’s made me work… harder.”

And while she hasn’t told Zala that she’s not her biological mother, she won’t keep it a secret from her forever.

“I’ll know how to do it when the time is right.”

Click through the gallery below for photos of Abby and Zala. 

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