March 11, 2024 | Townsville Fire news

Sami Whitcomb won’t lift the WNBL trophy but the captain claimed Townsville’s top gong at the club’s end of season awards.

She was named MVP after a strong 23/24 campaign, her first of hopefully a few more in for the Fire.

“I’m honestly a little surprised. I mean every game somebody new stepped up and was the MVP and they did it multiple times as well so I really feel like it could have gone to anybody.”

The guard displayed desire, determination and direction skippering the team, traits which also saw her collect the club’s Army award.

“That one was a real honour as well. It meant a lot that being in a leadership position I guess they felt like I did a good job of doing that.”

Courtney Woods also enjoyed a double delight on the night. She won the commitment to excellence award and took home her favourite honour, after being voted the players’ player of the season. The guard highlighted her lesser established teammates accepting the latter.

“It’s the only one voted by the playing group and it’s really nice and I’m happy and humbled by it. But it’s easy to be a decent teammate when you’re playing a lot but kind of the 5 players Ella, Majella, Indy, Saff, and Jess who showed up everyday and they worked hard and they were good teammates, and they weren’t getting on the court, I really just want to acknowledge them, because I’ve been there and it’s hard to keep doing that when you’re not getting on the court.”

Jessica McDowell White was recognised for her impeccable attitude and unrelenting efforts on the floor at training and during limited game time. The back point guard was named the coach’s player of the year.

“Definitely shocked was my initial reaction but in saying that I’m very proud to have to received it. Speaking to Shannon in the pre-season about personal goals and then I think I did a pretty good job at that. I think I met most of those but yeah, he’s a very vocal coach through practice and even in the games, and he would always let me know what I need to work on.”

The players broke into a chant when the new Fans MVP was announced, belting out lyrics screamed by the orange army at home games when the inaugural winner was lighting up the Fire Pit. And Mikaela Ruef revelled in shouts of ‘the roof the roof the roof is on fire” when she walked up on stage to collect an award, which accrued close to 30,000 votes.

“I think it means they like me, hopefully it’s for the way I play not just because I’m a big goofball. This is my fourth club now and they really are the best fans in the league. When you’re an opposing player you just don’t want to come here because they’re so loud cheering for their team, but when you’re playing here it gives you extra energy. And the other thing about it which is really cool is when you’re out in the community they come up to you and say things likes hey we went to the game you guys were so great, things like that. So that’s what make it extra special.”

And Fire fans won’t have to wait too much longer to secure their seats for next season, with membership packages going on sale soon.