HORSHAM'S Mitch Creek is enjoying his best NBL season as he continues to impress in a return from a serious achilles injury.
Creek has been a spark for the second-placed Adelaide 36ers in past matches and sparked a 12-2 run in a win against Townsville Crocs at the weekend.
The 21-year-old swingman turned the game on its head with his athleticism, which included an alley-oop from team-mate Jason Cadee.
Creek finished with 15 points and five rebounds in the 92-79 win.
It came just two rounds after he scored a career-high 20 points against New Zealand Breakers.
Creek is averaging 8.6 points a game this season up from his previous career high of 5.8 points in his debut season of 2010-11. He is also posting career-best assist totals and is shooting a stellar 50.5 per cent from the floor and 34.6 per cent from the three-point range.
Speaking to the Mail-Times on Monday, Creek said he was in the midst of his best season as a professional.
"I would say this is my best season the way I'm playing, I'm more consistent out there and more comfortable and confident," he said.
"I'm not forcing anything and I'm reading the game.
"There's just those little things the intangibles which people often overlook and I made sure I did them. At the end of the day I got the reward."
Creek said even he did not expect to be playing this well so soon after rupturing his achilles tendon in December 2012. His rehab progressed ahead of schedule, allowing him to take the court for round one of the NBL season in October only 10 months after the injury.
Creek said his body felt great and allowed him to elevate his game.
"I'm happy that I'm back and healthy but at the same I never expected to be back in this kind of physical shape so early," he said.
"I guess there's a bit of a blessing with the way I've come back because I've been in good shape and I'm injury-free and haven't had too much pain at all."
In Saturday night's match, Creek wore a black armband in recognition of the Roses Gap woman who died in the Grampians bushfire.
He said it was a small way of paying tribute to the woman and the people of the area. "It was just a quiet gesture I didn't say why to anyone, I just told them 'I need to wear this for a reason' and they were fine with that," he said.
"It was a dedication to the firefighters and the families affected and the life that was lost because you don't want to see anyone affected by a disaster like that."
Creek said he was also inspired by the presence of legendary former 36ers coach Ken Cole, who has terminal cancer.
He said Cole also had a tie to Wimmera coach Owen Hughan.
"Ken asked me to remind Owen that he's still around and still says g'day and is still thinking of him and thinks he's a legend," Creek said.
"I know Owen will love hearing that."