Today the Sydney Kings announced that Boomers star and reigning NBL MVP Kevin Lisch has been appointed team captain for the 2016-17 season.
Despite the Kings featuring several experienced players on the roster like Brad Newley (a three-time Olympian), Julian Khazzouh (who has been on a Sydney NBL roster since 2004) and Tom Garlepp (last year’s captain) Lisch was elected to the captaincy as a result of a player vote.
New Kings coach Andrew Gaze wholeheartedly supported the player’s decision, having been himself impressed by the leadership on and off the floor from Lisch since he made the move from rival Illawarra.
“This was a choice that was made by the entire group. With Kevin’s experience, the way he’s conducted himself here at the Kings and the fact he’s one of the premier players in the competition combined with the respect he has amongst the group, we couldn’t be happier that he’s going to be our captain for this season.” said Gaze.
It has been an extraordinary six months for Lisch, who become only the fourth player to ever win the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and MVP in the same season, earn Australian citizenship and compete at an Olympic games.
“I’m extremely honoured. With this title comes a great responsibility. I respect the tradition of the Sydney Kings enormously and I look forward to be able to lead and follow my teammates at the same time, to achieve our mission. I want everyone to feel like they’re a leader and contribute their input. I’m looking forward to this year from a personal perspective but also as a team because we have such great talent and really great people.”
Jeff Van Groningen made recruiting the two-time MVP his priority when taking over as the Kings Managing Director in April. Now seeing the rest of his roster’s evident approval of Lisch’s signing it’s clear it was the right move.
“Kevin Lisch has had an amazing career in the NBL to this point and has won multiple MVP awards. This year he earned a roster spot with the Australian Boomers at the Olympic Games for his adopted country, and now has been appointed the captain of the Sydney Kings. We are talking about a rare talent and a simply fantastic man on and off the floor. On behalf of the entire organisation I couldn’t be happier that we have KevIn taking on this leadership role”. Van Groningen stated.
Van Groningen and the Kings have been very aggressive in the offseason, betting agencies backing them to finish top two in the competition. The team recently selected two further players who, with Lisch, will form a leadership group. Accomplished international centre and recent Kings recruit Aleks Maric and rising local star guard Jason Cadee were selected to fill that role.
The Sydney Kings ($1.36) will be odds on favourites in their opening game against the Brisbane Bullets ($2.87).
Tip-Off will be 5pm on October 8th, at Qudos Bank Arena.