Batkovic crowned MVP

January 25, 2019 | Townsville Fire news

JCU Townsville Fire captain Suzy Batkovic has added one final accolade to her glittering resume after being crowned the Loloma Jewellers MVP this evening.

For a sixth successive season, Batkovic, who played her 346th and final WNBL game at the weekend, collected the Fire’s highest individual accolade, despite being plagued by a neck injury for most of the season.

In total, the triple Olympian missed nine games through injury, but still managed to win the award after votes were granted on a 3-2-1 basis following her scintillating start to the season.

Batkovic was one of just two players alongside the UC Capitals’ Kelsey Griffin to average a double-double after finishing the season posting 18.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

Fire coach Claudia Brassard paid homage to the retiring superstar, who was also awarded life membership alongside three-time championship heroes Micaela Cocks and Mia Murray.

Long-time servant John McCully was also awarded life membership after almost two decades of service.

“There’s not much left to say about what Suzy has done or achieved,” Brassard said.

“Put simply, she’s the best player that we’ve ever seen and it’s been a privilege to coach her and enjoy the success that we have had in recent seasons.

“She’s a giant of Australian basketball and I wish her well in her retirement.”

To round out the evening, Tess Madgen won the Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence during her first season with the club, while Ally Malott was awarded the Coach’s Award.

In addition to her life membership, Cocks, who became just the second player behind Rachael McCully to chalk up 200 games for the Fire, won the Players’ Player award for a record-breaking fourth time.

Cocks went back-to-back in 2011/12 and 2012/13 and has now repeated the accomplishment after winning the award in 2017/18.

Remarkably, the Players’ Player is the eighth club award the New Zealand Olympian has won during her time at the Fire.

After missing the finals for the first time in eight seasons, the Fire will look to bounce back in 2019/20 with a new-look squad following Batkovic’s retirement.

JCU Townsville Fire Awards

MVP – Suzy Batkovic

Coach’s Award – Ally Malott

Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence – Tess Madgen

Players’ Player –  Micaela Cocks

Life Members – Suzy Batkovic, Micaela Cocks, Mia Murray and John McCully.