Sanders not returning

Ish Sanders (Jacob Pattison)330725_02

The Big V state championship men’s best player will not return to the Sunbury Jets for the 2024 season.

The Jets announced that Ish Sanders, who won the league most valuable player award this year, wouldn’t be back with the club next season saying he will also have a special place in the association’s history.

“Ish is a valued member of the Sunbury basketball landscape and the SBA want to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude and admiration for the incredible impact you’ve had on our association and in our hearts,” the association said in a statement.

“Ish has been more than just a player to SBA; he has been a source of inspiration for our juniors. His hard work and passion for the game have not only elevated his skills and team but also lifted our entire association.

“As Ish steps into his new chapter his basketball career, the SBA is grateful for the impact you have had on the club. Ish has played over 100 games for the club.

“Ish has had a high score of 51 points in 2016 including, numerous league and club MVP’s and all-star fives, a championship in 2019, and most important, he injected himself into our club culture. Has been a great mentor for many young athletes.”

Sanders has had two stints at the Jets. He helped guide the side to the 2019 division 1 championship, winning the league and grand final most valuable player awards that season. He was due to return for the 2020 season, which was eventually cancelled due to COVID-19.

In his second stint starting in 2022, he has been a key in the Jets run deep into finals in the state championship division, including making the grand final series in 2022.

He won the league most valuable player in both 2022 and 2023 seasons. This year he averaged 28.52 points a game, second in the division, while he was also in the top 10 for assists and steals.

Speaking after the most recent most valuable player award win, Sanders told Star Weekly that Sunbury will also be home.

Jets general manager Chris Tighe said that Ish should always remember that he has a fan club here cheering for him, and they’ll be following his journey closely.

“We know that he will keep being the amazing player and person that he is, and he will always have a home in Sunbury.”

Tara Murray