Abby and Zala Bishop. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
Canberra Capitals star Abby Bishop has reaffirmed her desire to play for the club for the next WNBL season after accepting a rich two-month deal with Hungarian heavyweights PEAC Pecs.
Bishop will depart for Europe on Saturday with six-month-old niece Zala, whom she has cared for since birth.
The short-term nature of the deal means the Australian Opals forward can still potentially return for the Capitals next season.
The club's reigning most valuable player is contracted to Canberra for the 2015-16 campaign, but is a free agent next season.
Bishop admitted Zala's needs, plus the fact she's recently bought a new home in Canberra, will be factors in whether she plays in Europe or recommits to the Capitals.
''It definitely is a factor. I'll be coming straight back to Canberra after I get back from Europe, and I'll spend the off-season here,'' Bishop said.
''I'll speak to Graffy [Canberra coach Carrie Graf] and the Capitals about next season.''
''I'd love to stay here.''
The Capitals have accommodated Bishop's personal situation, allowing her to take Zala on away trips.
Bishop said the willingness of PEAC Pecs to follow suit convinced her to sign the deal.
''They're really supportive of Zala and I have somebody else coming with me to help look after her,'' Bishop said.
''They've organised lots of things for the baby, I definitely wouldn't go if they weren't [supportive].
''Like I've said before, we're a package deal and Canberra were very supportive of it, it's worked out the new club is too.''
Graf remains optimistic Bishop will return for the Capitals next season, setting up a mouth-watering post partnership with Opals star Lauren Jackson.
''In an ideal world she'd love to stay here, it's whether we can present an offer that's palatable for her,'' Graf said.
''It's a different life for her now, she has a child. I think they're pluses for us, and she's signed for us year after next.
''It's a short contract and hopefully it provides a good financial hit and an opportunity, if she wants, to come back to the Caps rather than go to Europe.
''She has to weigh it all up, but I think this certainly helps our cause in terms of trying to get her back.''
Bishop expects to hear back from Basketball Australia officials shortly on whether they will permit Zala to travel with the team, admitting last week her involvement hinges on it.
''It's still a work in progress and I hope to hear from them next week,'' Bishop said.
''I can't wait to hear what they have to say.''