SEVEN months ago Kristi Harrower appeared to have the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Harrower was battling niggling Achilles, knee and ankle injuries as she combined carrying the Bendigo Spirit’s playing fortunes with her preparation for the London Olympics.
Yesterday, Harrower had that sparkle back in her eyes as she confirmed she’ll continue her playing career with the Spirit.
Playing a key role in the Opals winning a bronze medal at the Olympics has helped put the bounce back into Harrower’s career.
“With Dad (Bernie) being (Spirit) coach I probably didn’t have much of a choice,’’ Kristi said with a chuckle.
“I just wanted to wait a bit after the Olympics to make sure I still had the hunger and dedication to play again.
“When I think about playing with the girls again, I get excited.
“I always wanted to finish my career in Bendigo, so it’s good to be back on my home court.”
Kristi said a holiday after the Olympics gave her the time she needed to contemplate her future.
“(Husband) Aaron and I went on a holiday for two-and-a-half weeks,’’ she said.
“We got back last Thursday night and I started training again at the weekend.
“I did a weights session on Tuesday and it was hard, but as the week’s gone on I’m feeling better.
“I’m looking forward to playing another season in Australia.”
Kristi also has high hopes for the Spirit this Women’s National Basketball League season.
The signings of Renae Camino and import Kathleen Scheer gives the Spirit some added offensive artillery.
“Hopefully, Renae will play like the way she played in Adelaide. We’ve got a structure in our offence that will make her to play that way,’’ Kristi said.
“Having the likes of Gabe (Richards), Kelly (Wilson) and Chelsea (Aubry) back is fantastic for us.
“It will be interesting to see what Kathleen’s like.
“It’s an exciting time for the club. It’s about getting our chemistry back.
“We didn’t have great chemistry last year... we need to get back to where we were two years ago.”
So is the 2012-13 WNBL season the Kristi Harrower Farewell Tour?
“I’m not going to say definitely. I want to make sure this is it. I’ll make that decision later in the season.”
The Spirit starts their WNBL season in Adelaide on October 5.
Their first home game is against the West Coast Waves on October 20 at Bendigo Stadium.