SOUTH Coast product Xavier Cooks is excited to regain the form that saw him picked in the Australia Boomers squad, after re-signing with the Sydney Kings.
As happy as Cooks was with his debut season in the purple and gold, which saw the Kings reach the NBL grand final, he knows he's capable of much more as a player.
"Last year wasn't a usual season for me," the 25-year-old forward said.
"I was happy with my energy, defence and rebounding - all plays that helped the team.
"However, it was a little disappointing because I know I can contribute much more, especially on the offensive end."
Cooks believes joining the team mid-season, after recovering from a knee injury, prevented him from playing at the same level as he did in Europe.
The Holy Spirit College alumnus won't have that issue next season, having penned a one-year deal on Friday.
"After opting out of my contract in May, with all looming pay cuts, the Kings and my management had been in negotiations," the Illawarra Hawks junior said.
"I'm really excited to be a part of the Kings family again, as I had such a great first year.
"Everyone was so welcoming, from my teammates, the coaches, fans, owners and GM - I loved working with Kings coach Will Weaver.
"With the way the season ended, I feel there is unfinished business there for the whole club."
To give the Kings the best chance of going one step further than last season, they've recently restarted training.
"During lockdown, it was hard to secure an inside court in Wollongong," Cooks, who hopes improved shooting can help him have a breakout season, said.
"It was a relief, once restrictions eased, to restart skill and shooting work with the Kings up in Sydney.
"Getting in and working with the boys this early in the season will help me create a defined role in our squad, which is looking extremely talented."
Looking down the road, the former Winthrop Eagle, still harbours ambitions of once again playing overseas.
"I was a little reluctant to head back to Europe at the moment, with everything that's going on in the world with COVID-19," he said.
"A couple of guys I know have been stuck in Germany for months and I didn't want to be in the same boat.
"Until then, it's up to me to continue to work hard and produce in the NBL spotlight - a league that is well regarded around the world.
"If I do that and get back to the old Xave, I'm sure other opportunities will present themselves."