Having recently signed a one-year contract with the Canberra TransACT Capitals, Caitlin Cunningham is hoping for an injury-free season under the tutorship of Carrie Graf. The signing on the dotted line almost didn't happen though, as she had a foot out the door and eyes set across the Pacific Ocean. As things panned out, the 2005 AIS grad and former Bulleen player will be back in the Nation's capital to play the game she loves.
It seems like you've been injured forever. How's your knee going?
I know!! I have just had such bad luck with injuries. When my stress fractures were finally getting somewhere and feeling great my knee got bad. I had a chronic case of patella tendonitis - it started in July 2004 at the Institute and being in that environment and also being in the Gems squad, I wasn't prepared to take 6 months off to fix it, as that would have jeopardised my position in the squad. So I was prepared to put up with the pain. But now my knee is feeling great, I have been rehabbing for the last 5 months and I got to run the other day and it felt great, no pain, which is fantastic!
What else have you been up to this off-season?
Well this off-season for me has basically been a lot of swimming, weights, rehab, physio, spin classes and stationary shooting!
Can you still get up there and dunk it?
I hope! I haven't tried for so long because my bad knee is the leg I jump off of and I haven't been able to jump off it properly in a while. I want to! One of my goals is to do it in a game and be on Sports Tonight's play of the day!
Who has been the most influential person to you in terms of basketball?
I really don't know...coaches! Especially one coach I had, Jim Kondos, he just believed in me and made me want to set goals in basketball and achieve them. Also this is very cliche but my mum too, she has given up so much time for driving me around to all of my games when I was little and even though I was a pretty bad player as a junior and spent my days on the bench until I grew, my mum was always prepared to sit and watch all my games and tell me I played well even if I didn't!
Do you remember your first ever game?
Yes I do! I was soo scared I had never played before and I was put straight into a first side and honestly I was rubbish! I was playing a 3 man and I remember having to bring the ball up the court and I was soo excited cause it meant I got to touch the basketball!
In one or two words, describe your 05/06 WNBL season with Bulleen.
Discombobulated and Valuable.
I understand you thought about going to a US college. What made you choose to stay in the WNBL?
That's right, I even had my college planned out and my flights booked, and then there was a bit of a drama with the Visa's. But to cut a long story short, in the end playing in the WNBL and establishing myself in the league is what I wanted to do! And I am very happy with my choice.
Do you keep in touch with any of your former AIS teammates who are currently in college?
I do, it's hard though cause they're so far away! That's where MSN comes in soo handy! But when they come home in their off season we always try to catch up for lunch and whatever.
What do you hope to get out of your first season in Canberra?
Going to Canberra was an easy choice because of Graffie being the coach! I just want to put my head down and work hard and improve and hopefully have a good and injury free season. Also a Championship would be nice too!
Any idea what number you'll wear for the Caps? Is #15 untouchable?
hahaha....I just wouldn't do that, take number 15! It wouldn't be right! I like numbers that equal 6 because my DOB equals 6 when added. So we'll see what number I end up with. My all time jersey number would be 17 though!
What long-term goal have you set for yourself?
I have a lot of long term goals...eventually I want to play in the WNBA and overseas somewhere and of course make an Olympic team and win a gold medal!
What has been the most exciting highlight of your career so far?
mmmm....probably Tunisia World C'ships. But at the same time it is a very frustrating time to think back to because we should have got a medal and all of us girls know that!
Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
I don't like to talk much before a game, like in warm up I don't really like to be too vocal. I have others, like I can't play on an empty tummy so I have to eat just before the game. Also I like to sit right next to the coaches at the front of the bench when I don't start so I can hear them and just get into the game and know what's going on from their piont of view.
Who would you most like to challenge to a game of H-O-R-S-E?
Michael Jordan, Larry Bird or Magic J
Besides basketball, do you have a favourite sport? Team? Player?
I like lots of sports and I admire a lot of sporting people, I couldn't really pick any one team or individual out though.
What was the last CD you bought? Last movie you saw?
Well a lot of my CD's got stolen from my car recently so I have been buying them back! So my most recent CD I have purchased was My Chemical Romance - I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. And I haven't gone to the piccis for soo long! But I am absolutely dying for X-MEN 3 to come out... I love comics so when a comic made movie comes out I get really excited!
If you could invite 5 people to dinner, who would they be and why?
Bert McCrackin, Gerard Way, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson and Brody Dalle...But I wouldn't mind George Bush to knock some sense into that man!
Writing pen ink:
Red or black...But I do like green
I really don't know
Elephant.... I can't really answer this question there are soo many I love!
Anything cute that melts my heart
I don't really follow teams I just admire the whole league.