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Kings bring NBL23 MVP Cooks home to Sydney

26 May
4 mins read
"I've achieved some of my greatest basketball accomplishments in Sydney and I can't wait to make some more over the next few years with all the amazing Kings fans."

The Sydney Kings are excited to announce that NBL23 MVP Xavier Cooks has re-signed with the club on a multi-year deal.

The 28-year-old, who won two championships during his first four-year stint with the Hoops Capital club, has agreed to a blockbuster three-year deal with the purple and gold.

The NSW product is the club's sixth signing of the fee-agency period, joining Bul Kuol, Izayah Lea'afa, Keli Leaupepe, Tyler Robertson and Jason Spurgin.

These six will be joined in the purple and gold by the returning quintet of Shaun Bruce, Alex Toohey, Kouat Noi, Makuach Maluach and Klairus Amir.


Cooks, who spent time in the NBA with the Washington Wizards and most recently wrapping up his Japanese B-League season with the Chiba Jets, is thrilled to be coming back to Sydney.

"I can't wait to return to Sydney - it's become my second home," said the NBL22 Grand Final MVP.

"I've achieved some of my greatest basketball accomplishments in Sydney and I can't wait to make some more over the next few years with all the amazing Kings fans."

Through his first four seasons (93 games) with the harbour city side - which resulted in three grand final appearances - the Illawarra Hawks junior recorded averages of 13 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.3 blocks and 0.5 steals - while shooting 54.6 per cent from the field.

"It's a surreal full-circle moment for me coming back to Sydney, as Brian Goorjian was the coach who brought my dad [Eric] out to Australia as an import all those years ago," said the Winthrop Eagles alum, who believes he's grown both mentally and as a leader during his time abroad in the US and Japan.

"Having already had the opportunity of working with him on the Boomers, I know he gets the best out of his players - including myself - and I can't wait to work with him on a full-time basis in Sydney.

"[As well as Brian] I'm excited with the defence-first mentality of the roster we have assembled, with players like Bul Kuol and Izayah Le'afa prioritising that end of the floor, while the younger guys love to get to push the pace - a style that suits me.

"Teams are going to have trouble scoring against us and I'm confident that will translate to plenty of wins on the court."


This move will also see the forward team up with Australian Boomers coach Goorjian, who worked together during the team's 2023 FIBA World Championship tilt.

"I'm pumped to have Xavier at the Kings for the next three seasons," said Goorjian, who has witnessed firsthand how hard Cooks works day-to-day during their time together with the national team.

"When I got the job here and after watching the Kings last season, the deficiencies of the team from the years prior were on the defensive end, which had a lot to do with no Xavier.

"He brings so many aspects to the court, even ones that don't show up on the box score, so when you take him out of the team and locker room, it leaves a big hole.

"So getting him back at the Kings was my number one priority because once you get a piece like this, this whole thing changes.

"He's one of those guys that people want to play with and elevates others around him with his energy and skillset - not to mention, giving us a chance to win."

Stay up to date with all the harbour city club's off-season news here.


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