Nat Burton is back in the Hawksnest

Hawks 2017 WSBL Championship player and former Australia Opal Natalie Burton has returned from her championship winning stint in Germany to re join the Lady Hawks for the 2019 season. We asked Nat some questions about her time in Germany and what is was like to win the Championship.

Tell us about your 2018/2019 season in Germany?

The 2018/19 season in Germany started back in September when we went to a training camp in Poland. While at this training camp we did all the things you would usually do…fitness testing, 2 training’s a day, team building exercises and some practice games. However just to spice things up a bit our coach thought it would be fun if he made us climb a ski mountain. So we ended up hiking up this steep mountain for 2 hours while watching everyone else go up on the ski lift. Although it was tough at the time, it became something that we always talked about when things were hard throughout the long gruelling season.

How did this compare to the previous years’ experience?

This season was the first time I had played in Europe for an entire season. We managed to keep most of the players from my first time there the year before so it felt really familiar and it was a lot easier to integrate the new payers into the system on the court. The biggest difference for me was just the length of time away from home which was 8 months this time compared to 4 month the previous season.

Tell us about winning the championship?

The final series was a tough one and started in March but didn’t finish until May. We finished top of the ladder so we had home court advantage the whole way through which put us in the best position possible. The first 2 rounds were best of 3 and we won both of those rounds in 2 games. The grand final series was best of 5 which I have never had to play before. The first game was away which was a bit weird seeing as we had home court advantage. So we travelled in the bus for 6 hours on the day of the game, and then hopped off and played the game, which we lost, and then hopped back on the bus and drove through the night all the way home. Driving such long distances on game day is normal in the German league, but it is so hard to put your body through that. It’s definitely not the best for us as athletes but it is the way it is and so you suck it up and do whatever you can to play as hard as you can. After the first game we had a a day of training and then played at home the following day, We won that game by 2 points! Followed by another day of training and then another game at home which we lost by 1 point which was really tough. But we had been improving with each game and so we won the next game away by 11 points and finished up winning the championship 2 days later on our home court!

What is the difference between Australian BB and how it is played and refereed in Germany?

Basketball in Germany is more rough and tough than basketball here, purely because the referees let you get away with a lot more hard and dirty fouls over there. So you can play with a bit more freedom, but that also means that you’re going to get hit a bit more.

Are there any other Australian’s in your team or your team plays against

The only other Australian in Germany was Darcee Garbin who came to join our team after Christmas. It was really nice to have her come and join the team, especially when she would laugh at my really funny jokes.

There are actually 2 other players from the German league who are playing SBL right now. Katie Yohn plays in Kalamunda and Elina Hartmann plays in Cockburn, so its great to see Perth attracting players from all over the world.

Tell us about the lifestyle living in Germany?

It was hard to live in Germany with the language barrier, but most people spoke enough English to help you when you needed it. I got really good at reading a menu, which I thought was pretty impressive! I was on a constant search for good coffee which was hard to find over there but I managed to find a few places.


Nat will be in action this Friday night May 31st when the Hawks take on the Kalamunda Eastern Suns at Ray Owen Sports Centre. Tip-off is 6.30pm. The MSBL play at 8.30pm.



Posted on Thursday 30th May, 2019