Capitals import Jordan Hooper eyes thanksgiving win

Thanksgiving with Canberra Capitals import Jordan Hooper's family usually means sitting around, watching football, and eating "until you explode".

But as her family gathered for thanksgiving in Nebraska, Hooper was halfway around the world boarding a flight to Melbourne for Canberra's WNBL showdown against Bendigo.

Hooper is primed to play a huge role as the Capitals look to snap a horror nine-match losing streak at Victoria's State Basketball Centre on Saturday.

The 25-year-old forward admits she would love to be home on the family ranch just outside Alliance in Nebraska for thanksgiving.

But she's getting used to spending major holidays abroad having had stints in Turkey and Australia over the past three years, so she's counting down the days until she can get home for her birthday on February 20.

"It's kind of the same every year, I'm always in a different country for thanksgiving," Hooper said.

"For thanksgiving we usually go to one of the aunt's or uncle's houses or something like that and everybody will bring food.

"We'll just sit around and watch football, eat until you explode and just have a good time, enjoying each other's company. That's usually what happens - same for Christmas, it's always the same.

"We just get together, enjoy each other's company and just be around each other.

"Sometimes I get to go home for Christmas, sometimes not, and usually I'm in a different country for my birthday.

"This year it's going to be the same for thanksgiving and Christmas but I'll be home for my birthday so it's kind of weird about that.

"I wouldn't say [I'm] lonely because I'm surrounded by my teammates and stuff like that but it's definitely different, being in a different country away from your family, away from all the food and that good stuff."

Hooper isn't alone in spending thanksgiving down under - the Capitals have another United States product on the books in veteran Mistie Bass.

But Hooper laughs she didn't want to interrupt that party with Bass already having her baby boy Braven to to worry about.

"Mistie has her family and everything so I don't really want to crash in on that," Hooper said.

"But it's definitely good having another American to share what we go through when we're feeling homesick and that kind of stuff.

"Especially around this time of year when all the good holidays are happening in the States."

Bass has been monitored daily after she copped a seemingly intentional knee to the hamstring from Melbourne star Liz Cambage last week, with the Boomers big gun copping a one-game ban.

But she looks set to take part in the WNBL's showpiece "Cluster Round" at the State Basketball Centre this weekend which will see all eight sides play across two games each day.

While Hooper admits she can get homesick every now and then she's got one thing working in her favour in Canberra.

It's getting warmer in the capital as Australia nears summer, and it's getting pretty cold back home in Nebraska - Hooper loves the heat.


Saturday: Round eight - Canberra Capitals v Bendigo Spirit at State Basketball Centre, Melbourne, 5pm.

This story Capitals import Jordan Hooper eyes thanksgiving win first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.