WNBL: Chloe Hinett - FIFA by day, Flyer forever

If you asked Bristol Flyers guard Chloe Hinett what she does for a living outside of basketball, it makes for quite the conversation starter.

Upon graduation from the University of Worcester in 2020, Hinett applied and got an interview for a job in data collection, without knowing exactly who her future employers was.

“The funny thing is when I applied for the job, I didn’t know it was for FIFA,” Hinett explained.

“The job description said data collection role. It wasn’t until I was in the interview that I was told that it was for FIFA, so that was quite a big shock at the time and being offered the role was quite a big thing.”

Hinett in action for Bristol (B.East Photography)

Hinett’s arrival at FIFA came at an exciting but busy time, with the World Cup on the horizon in Qatar.

When it was all said and done, Argentina’s Lionel Messi lifted the trophy in an iconic pose and 4,242 miles away in an office in Newport, Hinett and the FIFA data team congratulated each other by delivering arguably the most advanced coverage of a World Cup ever.

“It was certainly a historic World Cup where the outcome meant Messi was finally able to fulfil his ambition, but having joined FIFA two years prior, everything was building up towards that World Cup,” Hinett said.

“To get to that point, get through the tournament and deliver the most advanced data set that has ever been produced at that level – for our team to be a small part of history in that sense was pretty cool.” 

On the basketball front, Hinett and the Flyers narrowly missed the WNBL1 playoffs, losing their first nine games and finishing with a 7-15 record last season.

However, it didn’t deter the proud unit, especially as Bristolian Chloe, along with her parents Kevin and Karen, continue to play a big part in the club. Chloe was mixing playing with being a regular on the stats table for the men’s side with mum and dad club volunteers.

Hinett (centre) is part of the Bristol team that are currently 3-5 in D1W (B.East Photography)

An instant connection

Hinett was still in primary school when she was first introduced to basketball as select Bristol Flyers players visited for taster sessions.

It was point guard Brody Bishop, who joined Bristol from British Basketball League side Plymouth Raiders in the 2008/09 season, that called in at Chloe’s school, and instantly, she was hooked.

“I must have been about nine,” she recalls.

“It was definitely in primary school, and the Bristol Flyers men’s team were in NBL1, and some of the players came to my school for after-school basketball sessions. I got involved that way, and they did a Saturday morning session, which I enjoyed, and it spiralled from there.”

Throughout Hinett’s early playing days, Bristol legends such as Greg Streete and Tyrone Treasure were ever-presents as she progressed through her academic odyssey and on to university.

At that time, there was only one place on Hinett’s mind.

“When I was looking at universities, I was only looking at ones with good basketball programmes and ones with good National League clubs attached,” Hinett explained.

“Worcester was one of my top options, being it was also quite close to Bristol too.”

Hinett is also a respected Statistician, covering high profile games including the 2022 U18 Sure Shot National Cup Final

The Worcester vibe was totally different from what Chloe had imagined – but in a good way. The West Midlands city was perfect for student life, and Hinett says her time there set her up perfectly on a professional and personal level.

“I’m not sure if that would be the same if I went to one of the bigger universities or bigger cities,” she says.

“But it was a really good experience, and some of my closest friendships have come from playing in Worcester, and also my course and the people I lived with.”

Some of those friends Hinett now competes against in WNBL1, but with the Worcester experience now an unforgettable memory, she has returned home, and it seems that is where the heart is.

“It’s my home town club, and that means quite a lot to me, and it’s not just me, but my family are involved too,” Hinett proudly says.

“I’m proud to be a Flyer and proud of what the future holds for me and the club.”


Words by John Hobbs

Main image credit - B.East Photography