|06 October 2010|
by Jeff Taylor
All basketball players eventually reach the conclusion that they can't run up and down the court forever.
For 31-year-old Ivana Vecerova of the Czech Republic, a lynchpin in some fine Czech Republic sides over the years, the decision to retire from the national team has come.
She won't be at the EuroBasket Women next year in Poland when the Czechs go after another podium finish.
"I'm so tired," she said to Basketball World News.
"My knee's swollen. I've had so many problems with my health. I don't have the motivation.
"When the World Championship was at home, it was a great motivation to do something to win a medal.
"But for the future for me? I think it's best for me to finish on top."
Vecerova spent more than a decade at Gambrinus Sika Brno, beginning in 1998.
She moved to Ros Casares for the 2008-09 campaign with fellow Brno and Czech stalwart Jana Vesela and then last year played for Galatasaray.
"I'm going to play one more season at Valosun Brno because I want to be at home in Brno," Vecerova said.
"It's my hometown now and I want to start to lead a normal life.
"I want to have a family and just a normal life and to share my experiences with young players."
The Czechs lost to the Americans in the Final, 89-69, but it was still a great night for the Czechs.
"We wanted the gold medal, we thought about it," Vecerova said.
"I think it was the biggest dream to beat the USA.
"Twenty points is not too much, though. Maybe next time the girls will be in the final - just not with me."
Her team didn't win, but the experience gave Vecerova one of the proudest moments of her life.
"It was great for me to be at the beginning of the game and to hear the national anthem and to see the flag and to see that I am the one to represent the fans and to show to the world that we are the Czech Republic and that we can play basketball," she said.
"It's been fantastic."