NICOLA Handreck has been here, there and everywhere since she last wore a Portland Coasters' basketball jersey.
The prospect of a college career in the United States beckoned the then-teenager to Newbury College - a National Collegiate Athletic Association division two school - to South Carolina in 2014.
Handreck, now 26, played for three years before a serious knee injury wiped out her senior season.
Then, with partner Brandon, she embarked on a 2.5-year odyssey across the United Kingdom and Europe.
She's now back in familiar territory in her home town of Heywood, working remotely for Cambridge University and contemplating a move north.
But, in the meantime, the point guard will suit up for Portland in the Country Basketball League in a major coup for the Coasters.
Handreck will captain the Ellen Zeunert-coached team this summer.
"I haven't played there since before juniors which is probably 10 years which is just bizarre," she told The Standard.
"It is good to be back. I have been overseas since 2014 and my partner and I have just come back and we've been living in Geelong the last few months and we're just in limbo at the moment.
"We're planning to head up north (to Queensland) but couldn't get there the last couple of months (due to COVID-19 restrictions) so we've been back in the area and will be around here for the summer.
"El reached out about playing CBL and I thought 'why not?'."
Handreck, who played in a championship for Big V side Warrnambool Mermaids before leaving for the US, said her time overseas was the adventure she envisaged.
"Newbury has quite an Aussie culture. I knew that going there and it was one of the reasons which influenced my decision," she said.
"Moving overseas as an 18-year-old, it (the Australian vibe) helped the transition. I absolutely loved it and it was one of the best experiences.
"We won the conference in my freshman year and it set my college career off on a high.
"I had three years there and then tore my ACL in my senior year in the first conference game.
"I could've red-shirted (and extended my playing career) but my partner was graduating as well and we were ready to move onto the next chapter so I didn't take that option."
Living in the UK was a chance to recover from her knee injury without the pressure to play.
Handreck said they would "take advantage of cheap flights over there and just go to Prague for a weekend".
"It was nice to live up that European lifestyle," she said.
Returning to Australia in February meant basketball was again a possibility.
Handreck played for Werribee in the Big V championship division before COVID-19 lockdowns forced the season to end prematurely.
"It was the first bit of basketball since my ACL. It is so nice to be back playing," she said. It will be a fun couple of months in the CBL."
Portland non-playing coach Ellen Zeunert said having Handreck in the Coasters' fold was a blessing for their up-and-coming players.
"It will be excellent for the team and the young girls to have her - and for me too," she said.
"She is our captain so she'll be leading our side on the court and off the court."
The CBL starts this weekend. Portland Coasters' women's team plays a double-header, hosting Mount Gambier Lakers on Saturday night before facing Warrnambool Mermaids at the Arc on Sunday afternoon.
"I am super excited. I am excited to get everyone back on court and actually have a competition up and running," Zeunert said.
"Portland hasn't had a women's team in for the last one or two seasons and I have been out of basketball for a few seasons myself."
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