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Noi claims Sixth Man Award 'in his pocket'

10 Nov
3 mins read

Written By

NBL.com.au

"I don't think there's another person in the league that comes off the bench and impacts the game like I do."

Sydney Kings forward Kouat Noi has declared he is the front-runner for the NBL's sixth man of the year award, saying the award is already "in my pocket".

Noi has bounced back from an injury-plagued three years with the Cairns Taipans to become a fixture of the Kings' bench since joining ahead of last seasons' championship win.

He has featured in all nine of Sydney's games this season, mostly in the second unit, and memorably hit a career-high six three-pointers from eight attempts in the round-one win over the Illawarra Hawks.

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Noi top-scored for the second-placed Kings in that game as well as the loss to the Taipans in round five and is averaging 11.4 points and 3.9 rebounds from 18.5 minutes.

Noi played his 100th NBL game in Sunday's win over the New Zealand Breakers and the milestone has given the 26-year-old a chance to double down on his goals for the rest of his career.

First on Noi's hit-list: Become the first King since Dontaye Draper in 2008 to win the best sixth man award.

"I think I'm one of the top contenders, if not the top contender," Noi told AAP.

"I don't think there's another person in the league that comes off the bench and impacts the game like I do.

"Yes, there's some talented players out there but I just impact the game in so many different ways. I can shoot, I can rebound, I can attack the rim.

"That's a tough guard for another bench player coming in, they know they have to guard Kouat Noi. They have to switch their mindset. Sixth man of the year, I've got it in my pocket."

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Noi is hopeful it wouldn't be the last award to his name.

"Before my NBL career ends, I want to be an NBL MVP, I want to win most improved player," he said.

"All those goals, that's what I wake up every morning trying to strive for. I have full belief in myself that I can achieve those goals, no matter what anybody says.

"I'm the one that has to put in the work and I know I will achieve those goals before my NBL career ends."

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The Kings welcomed AFL premiership-winning coach Simon Goodwin to training on Thursday along with Sam Radford, who sits on his staff at Melbourne.

Goodwin is friends with Kings assistant coach Fleur McIntyre so dropped in to catch up with her and observe how the back-to-back champions run training.

He spent time chatting with NBA champion and Kings co-owner Luc Longley as well.

"We've just won back-to-back championships, they (the Demons) have won a championship," Noi said.

"Championships are our goal so if we can bring in people with the same mindset, it just brings us closer to another championship.

"Just his presence here speaks for itself.

"Everyone loves to see the Kings, everyone wants to be a part of the Sydney Kings."

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