Storm center Suzy Batkovic-Brown will stay at home to play basketball this winter, the Australian Daily Telegraph reported earlier this week via WNBL.com.au. Batkovic-Brown, who has been a fixture in high-level European basketball and helped lead Cras Basket Taranto to an Italian title last season, will return to the Aussie WNBL this season for the first time since 2001-02, playing for the Sydney Uni Acuvue Flames.
“I’m really excited about going home,” Batkovic-Brown said after Wednesday’s Storm practice. “I’ve played in Europe eight years straight now. I’m ready for a break. Obviously, getting married and leaving six days later to come here – I’ve only seen my husband two weeks since we’ve been married. I think now is the right time to go home and have a break.
“If I didn’t come back here (to the Storm), maybe that 3-4 months off I generally have and then go back to Europe (would be enough), but my thought process right now is I’ve been going for a year straight – it’s time to have a break.”
Batkovic-Brown looks forward to returning to the low-key atmosphere of the WNBL, where she starred for five seasons before making her mark on the international stage.
“It’s just a lot of fun. I’m playing on my old team that we won the championship before I left,” explained Batkovic-Brown. “The coach (Karen Dalton), I was coached by her when we won the championship. I know I’ll enjoy it, and I want to have some fun doing it. It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed playing for the sake of playing.”
Playing at home will also mean a chance to play in front of family and friends – a group Batkovic-Brown notes increased in size when she married Matt Brown in May just south of Sydney.
“My family doubled – it feels like it’s tripled,” she joked. “It will be nice for them to come to the games. The other thing is, my parents are getting older, and it scares me a little bit – I feel like I don’t spend as much time as I used to with them. They’ll come over maybe for a month or two weeks, but they have a life too; my mum works. They don’t like traveling without one another. My mom’s coming here; I know my dad’s going to be depressed for a month because she’s going to be here. It will be nice for them to just come to the game.”