Willoughby and Cooks claim top honours at Hoops Capital awards night

February 21, 2023 | Sydney Flames news

Sydney stars Jocelyn Willoughby and Xavier Cooks have been acknowledged for their exceptional season on the court by taking out the two MVP awards at Tuesday night’s first-ever Hoops Capital presentation.

Held at the Waterview, Cooks added the Kings’ MVP crown to his NBL23 Andrew Gaze MVP trophy and All-NBL First Team honour, thanks to averages of 16.03 points (while shooting 59 per cent from the field), eight rebounds and 4.03 assists per game.

While US import Willoughby, in her first season with the harbour city club, claimed the Flames’ MVP prize – on the back of averages of 14.9 points, 3.8 boards and 3.2 dimes.


The MVP gong was one of three awards Cooks claimed on the evening, also taking out both the Members Player of the Year sponsored by Hostplus and Players’ Player of the Year awards.

The other three award recipients on Chase Buford’s side, at the event MC’d by Eric Stephens and Briana Goodchild, were Tim Soares (Michael Wrublewski Coaches’ Award), Justin Simon (Defensive Player of the Year sponsored by Prism) and Kouat Noi (Hard Yakka Hard Work Award).

While the other major award winners in Shelley Gorman’s outfit were Maddy Allen (Coaches’ Award and Players’ Player of the Year), Tiana Mangakahia (Members Player of the Year), Kiera Rowe (Defensive Player of the Year) and skipper Keely Froling (Most Inspirational Player).

The final award handed out at the Lake Room was the Laurie Watterson Club Person of the Year, which deservedly went to Chris Ohlback.

With the dust now settled on the awards night, the Flames return to the court on Friday night for their first-ever Pink Round game against Adelaide at Quaycentre, with tickets available here.

While the Kings will ramp up Championship Series Grand Final preparations this week, ahead of Friday, March 3’s game one at Qudos Bank Arena.