Thunder signs MVP

Nelson Kirksey has signed with Keilor Thunder. Picture

Tara Murray

Ladder leaders Keilor Thunder has received a boost, signing a former Big V men’s most valuable player for the rest of this year’s championship division season.

Having already been one of the top teams of the competition with an 8-2 record before the COVID-19 lockdown saw three rounds postponed, the Thunder last week announced that Nelson Kirksey had signed for the rest of this year.

Kirksey, who won the competition’s top individual honour in 2018 while playing with the Hawthorn Magic, was last seen in the competition in 2019.

He averaged 21 points a game that season along with four rebounds and three assists.

His form in the competition saw him scouted by other teams, with Kirksey signing for the Hume City Broncos for the 2020 season.

With the season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he didn’t pull on the jersey for the Broncos.

The American has been keeping up his basketball, most recently playing in the New Zealand National Basketball League with the Taranaki Mountainairs.

He averaged nearly 17 minutes a game, scoring an average of 6.5 points per game. His team’s season is over, freeing him up to return to Australia.

Thunder coach Liam Glascott told the Big V website that he believes the addition of Kirksey would elevate the team in their run towards finals.

“Kirksey has been a well-respected player throughout the competition for the past three to four seasons,” Glascott said.

“Personally, having coached against him and having relationships with his previous coaches, I’m excited to see what he can cement in our squad towards the business end of the season.”

The Thunder was set to recommence its season on Saturday night against Blackburn after a break due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Due to the missed weeks, the Big V season will be extended by two weeks.

The home and away season will be extended up three rounds to accommodate the three postponed rounds, while the final series across all divisions will be reduced by at least a week to fit all the regular season games in.