Hannah Mundy wants to be known as more than the daughter of a triple world champion and replacement for the Diamonds captain in a team defending the Super Netball premiership.
But when she steps onto the court for the Melbourne Vixens on Mother’s Day on Sunday — 16 years after her mother last played in the national league — Mundy does so with a new appreciation for the dedication and hard work that went into her mum’s career.
Mundy, the daughter of 84-Test veteran Shelley O’Donnell, was elevated to the Vixens’ top 10 ahead of last week’s opening round as cover for Diamonds captain Liz Watson, who was forced to undergo season-ending foot surgery last month.
“Mum’s involvement with netball was how I was introduced to the sport,” Mundy said.
“At a very young age I was coming along to mum’s coaching and would want to be on the court.
“I still remember watching mum playing for the (Melbourne) Kestrels when she went back in 2005, so I always had that goal to be where she was.
“Seeing how many friends and memories she has made gave me that spark and drive to get to where she got.”
Wanting to forge her own path in the sport though, Mundy didn’t always enjoy comparisons with O’Donnell, also a midcourt ace.
“As I got older, I still admired what she had done but … I didn’t show that admiration as much,” the 19-year-old said.
“I didn’t want to be known as (her daughter) on the court, I wanted to (make my own name).”
But when she lines up at Melbourne’s John Cain Arena against the Sunshine Coast Lightning on Mother’s Day, Mundy will do so with a new appreciation for everything O’Donnell put into her elite career.
“Watching as a kid it doesn’t look easy but actually going through it you realise how much hard work and dedication it does take, so it’s really special to take the court and is a reward for all of the hard work and dedication,” she said.
Mundy also has Watson in her corner, with the world’s best wing attack providing the type of one-on-one tutoring most players could only dream of.
“She’s been awesome and really supportive of me,” Mundy said.
“It’s quite surreal having to take her place and her telling me what to do. I would never think that I would be in this position.
“She gives me confidence and reassures me I have the ability to go out there and play.”
Mundy showed glimpses of what she was capable of in the Vixens’ loss to grand finalists West Coast Fever, finishing with 14 circle feeds and four goal assists.
“I wasn’t going to play the best game I’ve ever played but I tried to not overthink and just go for it,” she said.
“I threw away a couple of balls but I’d rather do that than be hesitant. Overall it was pretty positive.”