JCU Townsville Fire captain Suzy Batkovic has etched her name into the history books after winning a record-breaking fifth WNBL MVP.
Earlier today, the 36-year-old was crowned the 2016/17 MVP after collecting 129 votes – six votes clear of Perth’s Sami Whitcomb (123) and a further eight votes in front of the University of Canberra’s Marianna Tolo (115) – to move past four-time winner, Lauren Jackson, into outright first place.
Since returning to the WNBL following an eight-year stint in Europe, Batkovic has proven to be all but unstoppable, winning five of the past six WNBL MVP awards and finishing third in the other.
Back-to-back MVPs with Adelaide in 2011/12 and 2012/13 was followed by a third with the Fire in 2013/14.
While the star centre finished third behind Abby Bishop in 2014/15 – Fire teammate Cayla Francis finished second – Batkovic has since gone back-to-back again with the Fire in 2015/16 and 2016/17 to claim her place in the pantheon of WNBL greats.
“I’m blown away and extremely honoured to win a fifth MVP,” Batkovic said.
“I was extremely honoured to sit level on four with Lauren, but to go out and win it a fifth time, is extremely humbling.
“I was taken aback when I got the call – I was a little bit speechless.”
Earlier in the week, Batkovic became just the seventh player to win selection in six or more WNBL All*Star teams, joining the legendary Rachael Sporn (8), Kristi Harrower (7), Shelley Sandie (7), Michelle Timms (7), Allison Cook (6) and Jackson (6).
— JCU Townsville Fire (@TownsvilleFire) March 9, 2017
The most dominant inside player in the WNBL, Batkovic averaged 21.3 points and 10.6 rebounds – second in both categories – while also finishing seventh in blocks.
While contemplating retirement, the triple Olympic medallist has confirmed she will play on in 2017/18 as she chases a fifth WNBL championship.
2016/17 WNBL MVP Votes
1. Suzy Batkovic (JCU Townsville Fire) – 129 votes
2. Sami Whitcomb (Perth Lynx) – 123 votes
3. Marianna Tolo (UC Capitals) – 115 votes
4. Leilani Mitchell (Sydney Uni Flames) – 107 votes
5. Sara Blicavs (Dandenong) – 73 votes
Eq.6 Steph Cumming (Dandenong) – 70 votes
Eq.6 Asia Taylor (Sydney Uni Flames) – 70 votes
8. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe (Bendigo) – 60 votes
Eq.9 Maddie Garrick (Melbourne) – 50 votes
Eq.9 Carley Mijovic (Perth) – 50 votes