IN his four years at Winthrop College, Kyle Zunic achieved more than he could have ever imagined.
From two Big South Conference Championships and an appearance in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Tournament, the Sanctuary Point product made endless memories during his time in South Carolina.
"This season was the absolutely perfect way to wrap up my four years at Winthrop," the 22-year-old guard, who averaged five points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game during his senior season, said.
"It was a season I will never forget for the rest of my life because it was such a special group.
"Besides the fact that we won a lot of games, it was just an amazing bunch of guys to be around and I enjoyed all the stuff that we did all year and I believe that's what made this so memorable.
"The basketball took care of itself - the only thing we all worried about was the next thing and that made us such a great team.
"We worried about what was in front of us and we attacked that with everything we had."
Upon reflecting on the past four years, including dealing with COVID-19, the former Sanctuary Point Public School student signalled out numerous memories as his highlights.
"My favourite memories would have to be celebrating both the championships and then also going to the NCAA Tournament," the two-time Big South Conference All-Academic Team member said.
"It was so exciting to finally get the chance to compete in the NCAA Tournament after having such a heartbreak last season.
"It was something we emphasised all year and for us to actually go through a whole season and get back to winning the Big South Championship was something that was so cool to the whole team.
"That feeling I had with my teammates and coaches was something I will never forget and for us to do it in my last two years was unbelievable.
"Those moments are going to stick with me for a long time."
Zunic, as well as as the on-court success, has developed in many other facets, which will help him for the rest of his life.
"The coaching was how I was able to develop from a freshman into a senior," said Zunic, who admits the college experience exceeded his expectations.
"They always cared about how we were off the floor and that just shows how great they were as people.
"Basketball was last on their minds because they just wanted us to be happy, to gain knowledge from this and to perform in every day life.
"As a basketballer, it was just great to get the opportunities I did.
"I learned a lot through being out on the court in very hard situations and having to work out how to perform under that pressure.
"I feel as though I have come out a way better and smarter player than when I went in."
Zunic will now remain in the United States for just over a month before returning to Australia on May 18, where he will start his two weeks quarantine and the next stage of his life.
"The plan when I get home is to find a team to play for professionally, as I hope to continue playing basketball and I can not wait to see where it takes me," he said.
"It is an exciting time for me and the next chapter is going to be a great experience that I will really enjoy."
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