Sunbury Jets star Ish Sanders capped off a stunning season, claiming the Big V men’s division 1 Most Valuable Player award.
Sanders averaged nearly 27 points, five rebounds and three and half assists a game as he guided the Jets to the division 1 title, their first since 2019.
Sanders said it was a surreal feeling to have been named the MVP.
He had already been named the grand final MVP.
“You work hard all off season in hope to perform at a high and consistent level. When you do that you put yourself in a really good position to be recognised and if you’re really lucky, to win a championship,” he said.
“Honestly, I had a team of MVP’s this year, that’s why we accomplished what we did.”
The Jets needed to come from behind in the grand final series to beat Warrandyte Venom 2-1.
Sanders, who had always been keen to return to Sunbury, said it had been an amazing season, with the championship capping it off.
“Personally, it was everything I wanted this season,” he said.
“We had our ups and we definitely had our downs but the way we responded to those downs was what made this team special.
“It’s always great to win a championship but I think as a team we did something even more extraordinary – we created a culture.
“We have, in one season, completely turned this men’s program around and hopefully have created an atmosphere where fans love to come watch and players want to be around.”
Sanders was also named in the All-Star Five team.
He was quick to praise his teammates for their work this season.
“These guys are very special,” he said.
“Each player contributed greatly in some way to this team that shaped the outcome of this season.
“We needed every single person on this team to accomplish what we did.
“These guys sacrificed a ton this year, whether it was playing time or travelling a fair bit for practice, their sacrifices helped this team be successful.”
Having had two successful seasons in Sunbury and with the Jets heading to championship division, Sanders hasn’t ruled out returning to the club.
“There is always a possibility of me returning. Sunbury has become like a second home. We will see what the future holds.”
Sanders wasn’t the only Jets winner at the Big V awards night.
Outgoing women’s coach Kennedy Kereama was named state championship women’s coach of the year.
Chelsea Kereama was named defensive player of the year, while Lynn Leaupepe was named state championship women’s youth player of the year.
Orla O’Reilly was named in the state championship women’s All-Star Five team.