CANBERRA Capitals recruit Nicole Hunt is fighting to shake the shadow left by the reigning champion's former star point guard.
After signing on with the club earlier this year, Hunt has been determined to fill the vacant position.
However, the Women's National Basketball League (WNBL) powerhouse requires big things from the Warrnambool Mermaids export.
The 21-year-old is striving to replace outgoing Natalie Hurst - who has joined French Pro League side Aix en Provence.
"Their (former) starting point guard was awesome," Hunt said.
"They are definitely big shoes to fill."
Hunt had until today to prove herself to esteemed head coach Carrie Graf.
The Capitals travel to Bulleen for the season opener before crossing to Bendigo tomorrow.
Hunt said the starting point guard position would be raffled between herself and teammate Nicole Romeo.
"I have no idea (who will open the game)," Hunt said.
"The two of us have been exchanging starting on the court in practice matches.
"I'm not sure who they'll go with."
After graduating from Warrnambool College in 2006, Hunt worked tirelessly on her basketball resume.
It is now brimming with influential stints with WNBL teams AIS and Dandenong Rangers and SEABL side Sandringham.
Hunt collected WNBL's Rookie of the Year prize in 2008 and also picked up an MVP for Sandringham.
Despite her decorated past, she said it was still testing to settle in with the Capitals - which have won seven of the past 11 WNBL championships.
"At the start it was difficult getting into new systems with new players and new coaches," she said.
"It's different at training and they have different offensive plays.
"We train for two-and-a-half hours (at a time) and I've never done that before.
"It was a bit of a shock to the system."
Hunt's troublesome knees have also had to adjust to the new weekly training regime, which includes up to four group practices, two individual sessions and four visits to the weight room.
She said her knee tendonitis had coped well.
"It's been really good," she said.
"I know I'm always going to have it, I've just learnt to manage it.
"But it's been fine, so hopefully it stays that way."
Canberra welcomes back coach Graf and players Marianna Tolo, Carly Wilson and Suzy Batcovic, who have all been representing the Australian Opals at the world championships.
Hunt said regrouping with the quality returnees would be another challenge.
"It's been a bit disruptive, especially for the new girls," she said.
"But our assistant coaches have been doing a great job."
Hunt predicted a fierce double-header this weekend.
The Capitals' first clash will be a replay of last year's grand final.
"It will be interesting (against Bulleen), obviously there is some rivalry there," she said.
"We should be OK against Bendigo but they do have Kristy Harrower and any team she's in do well."