Former Opal finds her feet in 3x3Hustle

Hanna Zavecz was at the peak of her powers before the injury bug struck.

After forging a successful basketball career for herself, including stints at the University of Wyoming, UNIQA Sopron in Hungary, and the Bulleen Boomers and Canberra Capitals in the WNBL, Zavecz reached the pinnacle of Australian women’s basketball in 2010, being called up to play for the Opals.

However, the 33-year-old Victorian was forced to call time on her professional basketball career just five years later following injuries to her ribs, knee and ankle – all in quick succession. Fast-forward three years, and the former Opal has begun to put those injury scars behind her by getting involved in NBL 3x3Hustle.

“It took me a while to get back on track with my health and some other things in my life, then last year I was introduced to 3×3 through friends,” Zavecz said.

“I had a bit of a run around and loved it. I also found that my body was in a much better state so I’ve really embraced the new game.”

With a revitalized body and mind, Zavecz has put her best foot forward in 3x3Hustle competition, relishing the fast-paced competitive nature of the game, and the opportunity to bond with a tight knit team.

“We had a great group of girls and got along well off the court, which always makes the experience better.”

“It’s new and exciting, very physically demanding and the camaraderie is high because there is only four of you,” Zavecz said.

“You have to battle together every possession. It’s a really satisfying feeling when you have success because it’s such a tough game.”

After a successful five-on-five career, it’s no surprise that Zavecz has carried that same competitive edge into the 3x3Hustle arena. Her team, the iAthletic Spectres – which includes fellow 3x3Hustle superstars Marena Whittle, Izzy Chilcott and Rebecca Cole – took out the inaugural Pro Hustle crown in 2018, a feat that Zavecz rates as her most memorable moment in 3×3 basketball.

Outside of basketball, Zavecz works in a pharmaceutical sales job – an environment that she says has some parallels to her career in basketball – and also volunteers in the Northern Territory.

“It’s a competitive environment (pharmaceutical sales) like sport, so it’s a great challenge and keeps me busy during the week,” Zavecz said.

“I also do a few weeks per year of volunteer work out in the Northern Territory with Red Dust, which keeps me grounded and happy.

“I’ve found a good balance with it all, and 3×3 is fitting in nicely.”

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