Tiana Mangakahia has set her sights on turning into a basketball coach after a recent most cancers battle compelled her into an early enjoying retirement.
The 28-year-old Sydney Flames guard on Monday introduced she had been recognized with stage-four breast most cancers and suggested by specialists to rethink life as knowledgeable athlete.
The setback comes 4 years after her preliminary analysis, shortly after Mangakahia had been chosen within the Opals’ Olympic coaching squad whereas enjoying for Syracuse College in New York State.
The Brisbane native remained within the USA for chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgical procedure, earlier than returning house to rebuild her energy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
She made an emotional return to school basketball in late 2020 and, after being ignored within the 2021 WNBA draft, returned to the WNBL with the Flames final season.
However the newest analysis has compelled her hand.
“I by no means thought I might be penning this till I used to be able to have youngsters with my future husband,” she stated in a press release on Monday.
“Nonetheless, right here we go … basketball has been part of my life for the previous 23 years.
“The experiences I’ve endured and the quantity of pleasure this superb sport has introduced me are too overwhelming to clarify.
“With out going into an excessive amount of element I’ve lately been recognized with stage IV breast most cancers which has unfold into different areas of my physique.”
The quickest to succeed in 1000 factors within the staff’s historical past, Mangakahia is taken into account a Syracuse College nice.
She managed 13 factors, 4 rebounds and three assists per sport for the Flames in 20 appearances this season.
“Rising up, it was my dream to receives a commission to play basketball, and I’m so grateful that I used to be capable of obtain this,” she stated.
“I do know that no matter this horrible illness, I’ll proceed to be me and encompass myself with those that love and assist me.
“Although my journey is unsure, what I’m sure about is my ardour for all times and bringing higher consciousness all through the neighborhood about this nasty illness.
“I’m wanting ahead to pursuing a profession in teaching and giving again to the game that has given a lot to me.
“Most cancers does scare me, however not dwelling life to its full potential scares me much more.”
Flames CEO Chris Pongrass indicated the membership would help in Mangakahia’s teaching transition.
“It’s laborious to precise how vital Tiana has been for this organisation,” he stated.
“This information is really devastating, and we share our ideas, prayers and love with Tiana and her household.”
Australian Related Press