Opals and UC Capitals Hanna Zavecz calls time

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The University of Canberra Capitals and former Australian Opal guard Hanna Zavecz has decided to part ways with the team and retire from basketball after a constant struggle with injury over the past few seasons.

The UC Capitals and Zavecz have mutually agreed to release the 30-year-old from her contract after she reinjured a tear in the intercostal muscle in her rib during the UC Capitals game against SEQ last Thursday.

“After constant injury struggles over the past few seasons, I’ve decided to part ways with the UC Capitals and finish up my basketball career,” Zavecz said.

“It’s not a decision I’ve made lightly and if I felt there was another option, I would take it,” she said. “I don’t want to leave the team at all, particularly, during this tough time but I had to step back, take the emotion out of it, and figure out what is best for my health and for the club in moving forward.

“I couldn’t be more thankful for the University of Canberra Capitals’ coaches, staff and players and I will continue to follow the team throughout the rest of the season.”

Head coach Carrie Graf said that although it’s sad for the team to see Zavecz go, “we have to do what’s best for Hanna and for the team”.

“Hanna has had an unlucky run with injuries and unfortunately they’ve had an impact on her ability to perform,” Graf said. “She has been a great contributor to the team and we wish her all the best in life after basketball.”

The 181 cm player, with extensive experience in national and international basketball, joined the University of Canberra Capitals for the 2014/15 WNBL season.

This was Zavecz’s return to Canberra after having played for the Australian Institute of Sport WNBL team in 2002/2003.

Zavecz had a successful college career in the US where she starred with the University of Wyoming, where she was selected for the All American team in 2008. She was first selected to the Australian Opals Team in 2010, after an outstanding season with the WNBL Bulleen Boomers.

The following year she had a starring role in helping the Boomers win their first WNBL title. She also gained valuable experience while playing with the Hungarian team Sopron in 2010/2011 before returning to the WNBL’s Logan Thunder for the 2013/2014 season.

Zavecz was also named in the Australian Opals extended squad for the 2014 FIBA World Championships in Turkey last year.

Despite moving back to Melbourne, Zavecz plans to finish her nutrition degree at the University of Canberra.