Batkovic refreshed after WNBA stint

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JCU Townsville Fire captain Suzy Batkovic believes a stint with her former WNBA club will hold her in good stead ahead of pre-season training formally commencing next month.

Speaking publicly for the first time since being controversially overlooked for the Rio Olympics, Batkovic, who returned to North Queensland this week after spending the past month in the U.S, was the shock omission from the Opals’ ill-fated Olympic campaign that ended in the quarter-finals with a two-point loss to Serbia.

Hoping to join long-term teammates Sandy Brondello, Laura Hodges, Lauren Jackson and Kristi Harrower as a four-time Olympian, the reigning and four-time WNBL MVP failed to have her boarding papers stamped as Australia chose to go in a younger direction, but the 35-year-old said she harbours no bad blood.

“It was obviously disappointing,” Batkovic said.

“You want to represent your country, but what’s meant to be will be, and what isn’t, isn’t.

“Unfortunately for me I didn’t get to have that crack at going around for a fourth time, but things happen, and we move on and for me that’s in the past (now) and I’m just focussing on the Fire.”

During a month long stint in the States, Batkovic was able to go through her paces with the Storm which was on a month long break for the Olympics.

Having recharged the batteries both mentally and physically, the Fire skipper said she enjoyed being back on the floor with some of her former teammates.

“I’ve missed it,” Batkovic said about playing.

“Being away on holidays, I was lucky enough to do some training with my old WNBA club and I loved it.

“It was good to be back out there, and to play (in training) as I was hanging for it.”

The Fire officially commence pre-season on September 5, with head coach Claudia Brassard already putting a number of her players through individual sessions.

The Fire are expected to announce Brassard’s second assistant coach next week.

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