Alice Kunek is Chasing the Sun and a Championship
After 7 back-to-back winters, the 32-year-old has moved back to Australia and will play for reigning WNBL champion Townsville Fire next season.
Kunek, who has won Commonwealth Games, Asia Cup and Oceania medals with the Opals and represented her country in 3×3, returns home after enjoying success and growing her game in Europe.
“I’m really excited to return to Australia and watching the Fire last season, they were really impressive playing such great team basketball and Shannon (Seebohm) is an incredible coach,” she said.
“I want to come home and win a championship in Australia and be part of a really good group.
“It definitely felt like the right time. I’ve got two nephews, a niece and I’m quite close with my family. Australia is a great place to live and play and I’m close to 250 WNBL games so that’s another achievement I want to get.
“This opportunity came up to be part of a really good club and really good environment and for me, I couldn’t say no.
“7 winters in a row is a lot and Townsville is a beautiful place. I’ve got really fond memories winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal there, my family all came up and had a holiday there so it holds a really special place in our hearts.”
Kunek made her WNBL debut with the AIS in 2007 before joining Bulleen under Tom Maher where she was part of the club’s historic first championship in 2010-11.
She’d cross to rival Dandenong before returning to the Boomers then taking up her first overseas contract in France. A stint with the Perth Lynx would follow before she’d head back to France for another campaign then represent the Sydney Flames in 2019-20.
For the last two years, Kunek has played in Poland then in Hungary winning a Euro League title for Sopron with Ezi Magbegor in 2022-23.
Should Kunek be selected for this month’s FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Sydney, she will be coached by Shannon Seebohm before the WNBL season even tips off.
“I’m excited to be part of the Opals and coached by him if I make the team,” she said.
“Watching the way Shannon has coached and grown over the years has just been so impressive, everyone I’ve spoken to has loved playing for him and grown and improved under him.
“I think I’ve still got a lot of improvement, a lot of learning and growing to do as a player and that’s something I want to do, keep getting better. When I finish my career, I can put my hand up and say I gave absolutely everything.
“Australian basketball has been so good to me. I feel so fortunate to have played in Australia and represented Australia, I really want to give back to the basketball community and Townsville’s a great place to do it.”
The 2023 FIBA Asia Cup tips off in Sydney on June 26.
The Fire will launch their title defence in November when #WNBL24 begins.