Sports career calls but so does study

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

At the tender age of 17, Hannah Kurek has the world at her feet.

A mix of skills on the basketball court and dedication in the classroom has opened doors to numerous career paths.

Hannah graduated from Bunbury Senior High School last year with an impressive academic record, but will take a gap year in 2017 to focus on a promising basketball career which has seen her signed by State Basketball League club, the South West Slammers.

Hannah’s talent as a basketballer was discovered when she started playing aged about eight and she went on to represent regional WA on seven occasions.

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“As I moved into under-12 competition I began getting into State teams,” she said.

“My sister played and I am a visual learner, so watching her and going to all her training sessions made me feel like it was the right thing to do.”

Through the sport Hannah has received a number of honours, including being named an All-Star in the under-14 Division Two State Championships in 2012, an under-14 WA Basketball League A-League All-Star, under-16 Division One Country Championships All-Star and being the first sponsored basketballer at Denning Strength and Conditioning Centre.

This led to Hannah being signed up by the Slammers for the 2017 season.

The guard said she has always wanted to be a Slammers player, with championship-winning captain Lisa Cartwright her hero.

“I look up to strong players who can control the game on the court,” she said.

Hannah dreams of one day representing the Perth Lynx and the Australian Opals, but the teenager is realistic and looks to accomplish one goal at a time.

“I will play as long as I enjoy it,” she said.

“When it becomes too much, then I will pull the pin.

“Representing the Lynx and Australia is definitely a dream of mine.”

Hannah was part of Bunbury Senior High School’s sports specialist program, Bunbury Elite Sports Training, where she graduated in November with an A and the Certificate of Merit.

But Hannah is just as good in the classroom as she is on the court, winning Dux awards in Year 9 and 10, being a School Prefect last year, receiving a Certificate of Academic Excellence for physical education studies and finishing runner-up for the Dux award in Year 12.

Hannah hopes to study sports rehabilitation at university when she decides to go and she hopes to work with some of Australia’s biggest sporting clubs.

“If I cannot be an athlete, to stay involved in that community would be nice,” she said.

“Everyone is passionate about what they are doing. You can find common ground through sport.”

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