Horsham basketball exports Mitch Creek and Shaun Bruce have featured prominently in the National Basketball League's end-of-season award nominations.
Creek was announced as one of 15 nominees for the league's Most Valuable Player award after an impressive first season with the South East Melbourne Phoenix.
Creek has averaged 20 points and seven rebounds per game in his first season back in the NBL, helping ensure his South East Melbourne jersey is one of the most popular among juniors at the Horsham Basketball Stadium.
Bruce has been nominated for two awards after a remarkable season with the Sydney Kings.
He is in contention for the Best Sixth Man award, and was one of just seven players nominated for Most Improved.
Bruce said individual award nominations were a bonus amidst a successful season for his Sydney Kings.
"It's not something I care too much about, but I definitely appreciate the recognition," Bruce said.
"I think there's a few of us Kings guys that are nominated for stuff, but I think we wouldn't be there as individuals if it wasn't for our focus as a team and what we're getting done as a group.
"It's a credit to what we're doing as a group for why a few of us get to be nominated like that."
Bruce's career was in a state of limbo last year, playing in state leagues and abroad with the hope of earning an NBL opportunity.
He earned a late chance with the Adelaide 36ers late in the season, signing as an injury replacement player and playing seven games.
But he has taken his game to a whole new level this season with the Kings, averaging career-highs in points per game, assists, and field goal percentage, shooting an ultra-efficient 44 per cent.
He has played 27 games, all off the bench, running the Kings' second team and contributing to the ladder-leaders' 19-wins this season.
"There's a lot of good players nominated for the awards across the board, so to be one of them I feel privileged to be a part of," Bruce said.
"It's good to be recognised, but really, our awards season as a team starts in a couple of weeks when we kick off playoffs.
"That's what we're about as a group, and we're excited about that more than anything."
The award winners will be announced on Sunday, February 16.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.