Silver Ferns veteran Grace Kara is still coming to terms with her shock axing from the ANZ Premiership's Northern Stars.
On Wednesday, details of her departure were revealed, with the Stars captain shocked by a meeting with club officials that left her looking for a new team in 2021 in a bitter blow that almost ended her career.
"It wasn't the conversation that I anticipated," Kara tells Newshub, recalling the moment she discovered her contract wouldn't be renewed.
"It was tough to take at the time - disheartening."
Not because the Stars had opted to sign Silver Ferns vice-captain and specialist wing attack Gina Crampton instead, but because Kara felt blindsided.
"I was just disappointed in the way it all unravelled and panned out in the end in terms of how it was dealt with," she says.
Kara was left with a big decision to make.
"It could've ended my career," she admits. "It's definitely something I considered."
Instead, she reached out to her former franchise - Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic - whom she left in 2018.
"The Magic are very dear to my heart," Kara says. "Obviously, it's challenging not being based here in Auckland with the little one."
The mother of one will commute for training and games.
"At the end of the day, I still have the passion, and I still think I can contribute on court and off court."
New coach Amigene Metcalfe agrees.
"I was an assistant when she was last here... we couldn't let a player like her go without a contract," Metcalfe insists.
Watch the full story above