Fire's Suzy Batkovic fit for WNBL farewell

Veteran Suzy Batkovic will play the final WNBL game of her career when Townsville take on Sydney.
Veteran Suzy Batkovic will play the final WNBL game of her career when Townsville take on Sydney.

It has hardly been the fairytale farewell for Suzy Batkovic but one of Australia's most decorated basketball talents has never been one to complain.

On Saturday the 38-year-old will call time on a career that began in 1996 and has seen her claim five WNBL championships, four European titles and three Olympic medals.

The centre also forged a long career in the WNBA with Seattle and won six WNBL MVPs, her most recent coming last year as she led the Townsville Fire past Liz Cambage's Melbourne Boomers to claim the club's third title.

Things haven't gone as smoothly this year though, with the Fire out of the finals race and nerve pain in Batkovic's neck sidelining her for the past six weeks.

"How it's happened is not the way I wanted it to go, but that's life," she said.

"Sometimes it throws you a curve ball and you've got to deal with it.

"I can't complain; I've had a pretty good run."

Batkovic insists she's fit enough for her swan song though as the Fire host the last-placed Sydney Flames, who will also farewell star guard Belinda Snell after 15 WNBL seasons.

Snell and Batkovic were part of the stacked 1998-99 AIS championship side that also featured a young Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor.

The good friends' careers followed similar paths through Europe and the United States and Batkovic said it was only fitting they finished together.

"We started a long time ago at the AIS," she said.

"I'm happy to retire with Snelly, as long as we get the win."

Snell has indicated an interest in coaching once she retires, while Batkovic's only concrete plan is to "take a little holiday" once the final whistle is blown.

Australian Associated Press