Size-wise they’re Canberra basketball’s ‘odd couple’, but Nicole Hunt and Alex Gynes are firmly focussed on helping their respective sides scale new heights.
Hunt is the starting point guard for the WNBL’s Canberra Capitals, while Gynes made his debut for SEABL’s Canberra Gunners last weekend. The pair have been an item since midway through last year, and met through their mutal love of the game.
Gynes played his first season in the NBL with the Sydney Kings over summer, and signed with the Gunners to remain close to Hunt.
At 198cm, the 23-year-old forward towers over the diminuitive Hunt (167cm).
But in terms of their determination to revive their team’s recent flagging fortunes, there’s not a struck match between them.
The Gunners are going through a rebuilding period under new coach Mat Glasson.
Meanwhile, the seven-time champion Capitals missed the finals for the first time since 2004-05 last season.
‘‘I was going to head down to Tasmania with Alex [and play SEABL] but that didn’t work out and we’ve stayed here,’’ Hunt said when announcing a new one-year deal with the Capitals this week.
‘‘It’s nice to be settled, moving every six months can be hard, and I’ll be refreshed and ready to go next [WNBL] season.
‘‘I feel like my improvement and development has been huge [in two seasons at Canberra] and last year was disappointing, but hopefully we can make amends for that.’’
Gynes said he and Hunt make a concerted effort not to discuss basketball away from the court.
‘‘Personally if I’m thinking about basketball all the time I’ll go crazy – it’s nice to just relax and talk about different things,’’ Gynes said.
‘‘I wouldn’t say we give each other [basketball] advice, but you always know how the other person’s feeling and when to say something and when not to.’’
Gynes scored seven points in the Gunners’ 82-71 loss to Mt Gambier at Belconnen Basketball Stadium last Friday night.
Jono Miller (19 points) and Mark Lacey (17) were the shining lights offensively for the home side.
This weekend the Gunners travel to Melbourne to play Sandringham.