Whether she plays a final game or not, Suzy Batkovic will forever sit among the best Australian basketballers of all time.
Five WNBL championships, six WNBL most valuable player awards, four championships in Europe, four Olympics, three Olympic medals and a career at elite level that started as a teenager in 1996 and will end next Saturday when her Townsville Fire play their last regular-season game.
The left-handed centre has been the forefront of Australian women’s basketball for much of her career including in last season's grand final series decider where she led the Fire past Liz Cambage and the Melbourne Boomers in Townsville to claim their third title.
If the 38-year-old had retired she would have had her fairytale ending but Batkovic has always pushed the envelope and played the extra game, and it's part of why she is so respected.
While this season hasn’t turned out as she hoped, she has still been a force in the 11 games she has played, averaging a team-best 18 points and 11 rebounds per game. She hurt a nerve in her neck six weeks ago which has ruined her farewell.
The Fire played their second-last game of the season against the Dandenong Rangers at Dandenong on Sunday and Batkovic wasn’t on court. Instead, she was working towards being fit enough for one last game in Townsville on Saturday.
"It has been a pretty frustrating, disappointing second part of the season for me not being able to help the team," Batkovic said this week.
"Everyone knows I love to play so it's been difficult but the chance to come out on my home court before I hang up my boots will be really nice.
"It has been almost six weeks now and I haven't done any fitness work, it has been full rest mode, so I'll probably need a bit of an oxygen tank but it will just depend on the day with how it pulls up. I'm hoping to be out there for at least 15-20 minutes and I might get lucky and play a little more."
The neck problem appeared in November and it flared up when she travelled to Melbourne to face the Boomers in early December; since then she has barely been on court as the Fire have missed the finals.
For someone who missed Australia's world championship gold medal in 2006 due to injury and was overlooked for a fourth Olympics in Rio, Batkovic has learned to handle setbacks and her injury has gradually allowed her to realise she has much to be proud of.
"As much as I want to win another championship, I've won five championships in Australia, I've won four championships in Europe, I've been to four Olympics and I think I'm just becoming greedy,” she said.
"I've been lucky and I'm really grateful for everything basketball has given me.”
“It has taught me a lot, a lot of life skills, how to deal with things. It has been an amazing job."
Teams have spent hours trying to plan ways to slow her down over the past 20 years but her opponents hope Batkovic can make her farewell.
Melbourne forward Cayla George played with Batkovic in three Townsville championship teams.
"I just hope she finishes on her terms," George said. "Suzy is a great person who has had a tremendous career, I got three championships playing with her as the 'Twin Towers'. It has been a real honour to play alongside her."
Batkovic revealed her nerve injury has such an effect on her game that she was struggling to make shots from in the key just a few weeks ago.
She has since progressed and hopes to be fit enough for the final round even though she is only seven weeks into a 12-week recovery.
There is a risk the nerve flares again and she can't play next Saturday but Batkovic is staying "optimistic", whether she plays or not she still has plenty to move onto once the final buzzer sounds.
"I've had a partner and he's been pretty patient," Batkovic said.
"We want to do a few different things in life, we want to start a family, so there is a different journey to be had and as much as I've loved this journey.
"I have been fortunate and basketball has given me so much and I'm forever grateful for that."