At first, Canberra Capitals legend Natalie Hurst was shy about the company she’ll keep as part of the Lake Ginninderra College Hall of Fame.
Petria Thomas, Lauren Jackson, Shane Heal, Lucas Neill, Todd Woodbridge, Patrick Mills, Andrew Bogut and Mark Viduka were just some of the names already in there.
But then the seven-time WNBL champion decided she should pay herself a bit more respect.
She’s played in every one of the Capitals’ championships and has represented her country.
The former “Lake G” student was one of 23 inductees into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday to mark the school’s 30th anniversary since it first opened in 1987.
Fellow basketballers Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Ingles and Suzy Batkovic were also inducted, as were Socceroos Mark Bresciano, Ned Zelic and Mark Milligan, Matilda Caitlin Munoz and basketball-cum-AFLW star Erin Phillips.
“Careers are a hard thing because you have so many highs and so many lows and there’s a couple of things I haven’t yet achieved that I want to achieve,” Hurst said.
“I kind of was like, ‘Wait until I retire, let’s see if I’ve been able to do anything else.’ If not it’s still a great achievement and if so then I can be proud about that too.
“I was umming and ahhing whether I should be here, but they really pushed and I should probably give myself a bit more credit than I do sometimes because winning seven championships in a town where I grew up and was born and bred and that you love.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play for the Capitals coming into my 12th season. You know it’s nothing small, but I was a little shy to be put up next to some of the names that I am today.”
Now she’s back playing for her home-town team in the WNBL and, while the Caps are going through a rebuilding period, Hurst was still hopeful of adding at least one more championship to her total.
“I really hope so. The club is definitely building in the right direction and was something I wanted to be a part of so that’s why I made the decision to not go back to Europe and to come back this season,” she said.
“I can see great things and hopefully it ends in the next couple of years, or wherever it goes, in another title.
“That’s definitely the goal, that’s what I want to achieve and hopefully seven becomes eight very soon.”
Hurst said Lake Ginninderra played a crucial role in her early life as an athlete.
She said it allowed the Australian Institute of Sport students to be “just another face in the crowd” as they try to achieve their sporting dreams.
“They understand what the athletes need and what they’re doing in their life,” she said.
“They know school’s not the priority and they work with it to make sure you can achieve what you do in sport and still get the education that you need for after sport.”
Hall of Fame inductees: Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles, Brad Newley, Suzy Batkovic, Natalie Hurst, Amy Wilson, Thomas Edgar, Nathan Roberts, Aidan Zingel, Travis Passier, Louise Ellery, Mark Bresciano, Ned Zelic, Mark Milligan, Emily Van Egmond, Caitlin Munoz, Gavin Woods, Thomas Whalen, Belinda Hocking, Sarah Ryan, Erin Phillips, Christie Mokotupu.
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