Panousis enjoying second-stint with hometown Flames

November 24, 2023 | Sydney Flames news

Written by Will Sumner.

Sydney Flames veteran Vanessa Panousis appeared on ‘The Crossover’ with Sports Entertainment Network’s Jimmy Smith Show on Thursday to discuss her collegiate career at Virginia Tech, playing professionally overseas and her expectations for the rest of the WNBL season.

Panousis attended Virginia Tech, a prestigious university in the US that competes in NCAA Division One, specifically the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

The Sydney Comets product played there for four years, featuring twice in the ACC All-Academic Team and once in the ACC All-Tournament Second Team. 


“[They were] the best four years of my life,” said Panousis.

“College sport in the United States is unbelievable.

“The amount of gear and facilities – it’s pretty incredible”.

While playing basketball, Panousis majored in Human Development, finishing with a Bachelor of Science.

When asked if she’s used her degree, Panousis said, “I haven’t used it yet. Don’t think I will to be honest, I’m still not sure what I want to do post-basketball”.

Panousis also spent time playing professionally in Greece, where her campaign was cut short due to the rise of COVID-19 cases and the lockdown that followed. 

“[Playing professional basketball in Greece] was awesome – the fans there are wild,” the 28-year-old said.

“You get lots of opportunities playing for a EuroLeague team as you play teams from across the continent.”

As a result of the pandemic, Panousis decided to come home to Australia and take a break from basketball entirely.

“I took about six months off to spend some time with my family, and it was ultimately a great decision, as I’m now with the Flames,” said Panousis, who is in her second stint with the Hoops Capital club.

Panousis is now an integral part of a Flames’ side looking to contend for a championship in NBL24.

She attributes their success so far to a well-balanced roster and expert coaching.

“[The] characters that we have on the team, there’s a really good energy, good mix of experienced players and young, up-and-coming players -nwhich is why we’re playing well,” the guard said.

“Guy [Molloy] is awesome, not just as a coach, but as a human.

“He really cares about us, first and foremost, which is a really important point for all athletes in a team environment.

“He’s really technical, really encouraging and wants us to get better every day”.


The Flames have had a week off in the build-up to their showdown on Saturday against the Bendigo Spirit, which tips off at 6.30pm AEDT and will be broadcast on 9Now.

“We definitely got our rest, but we also got some work in as well, which was needed,” said Flame #143.

“We have to make sure that we lock Kelsey Griffin down.

“We had a really good week in training and I think we’re really prepared [for Saturday’s game]”.