UC Capitals young gun Jade Melbourne, stalwart Brittany Smart, WNBL defensive Player of the Year Britt Sykes and captain Kelsey Griffin have tonight taken out top honours at the UC Capitals MVP Awards Night.
Britt Sykes and Kelsey Griffin were both named the UC Capitals’ Most Valuable Players for 2021/22, following an impressive season with the club.
Griffin is a leader and extremely hard worker both on and off the court, playing with an intensity and passion to get under that basket, get the blocks and hit the shots the team needs most when the momentum is in the balance.
Sykes was dangerous at both ends of the court, with her biggest offensive stats for the season included 33 points against Bendigo and 32 points against Perth, while averaging 16.1 points per game.
Her defense was most thrilling to fans, though, with steals and blocks that could shift the momentum in the UC Capitals’ way. Sykes took out the club’s Kellie Abrams Defensive Player of The Year to add her accolades in her debut WNBL season.
Speaking on the announcement, UC Capitals Head Coach Paul Goriss said both players were highly deserving of the accolades.
“Kelsey is the heartbeat of this team, her leadership is outstanding, her work ethic is second to none, and her winning attributes are what drives her to success every season,” Goriss said.
“She has been a mainstay of our success since she has arrived at the UC Caps and with Kelsey on any team, it is going to be a championship contender because of her work ethic and drive to lift her teammates around her.
“Britt – As advertised and more! We all knew Slim was an elite defender and great athlete but what she has surprised people with is her IQ, her ability to score multiple ways and play point guard to small forward, it’s her versatility at both ends of the court which makes her special and one of the best imports to play in Canberra, and we have had some special ones here.
“Her willingness to be a mentor, have a voice and share her knowledge with teammates and coaches shows her true character as a great person and teammate. She has bought a different dynamic not only to our team but to the WNBL.”
Brittany Smart’s second season in black and blue saw her take out Players’ Player, as voted by her teammates. Recognised and respected for her work both and off the court, Smart was not only the Capitals’ three-point threat but was also that calm and guiding voice, an encouraging teammate, a wise veteran and someone to turn to for a laugh.
In her second year in the WNBL and with the Caps, Jade Melbourne was named Capital on the Rise.
The confidence the 19-year-old displayed this season, taking on opponents who have been around many more years than herself, her ability to drive hard to the basket and finish those tough shots and the composure shown all added up to her being voted by her teammates as this year’s Capital on the Rise.
“Jade is growing in stature and maturity each season. She has the X factor – she is fast, she has no fear, she is improving her defense on the ball and with continued work on her shooting she is on the way to be a future star of the Caps and WNBL,” Goriss said.
“She still has a way to go but with her work ethic and willingness to learn and work in her game and in the gym she is on the right path to be something special. I can’t wait to see her improvement again next year in the WNBL.”
2021/22 MVP Award Winners |
MVP Award: Kelsey Griffin and Britt Sykes (Joint winners)
Kellie Abrams Defensive Player of The Year: Britt Sykes
Players’ Player of the Year Award: Brittany Smart
Capital on the Rise: Jade Melbourne