Kings add Xavier Cooks to NBL campaign

Matt Encarnacion

The Sydney Kings have bolstered their NBL ladder-leading line-up after adding Boomers prospect Xavier Cooks for the rest of the season.

The Kings announced on Tuesday they had released Kuany Kuany and immediately signed Cooks after the 24-year-old was released by French side SG Strasbourg.

Cooks, who went undrafted in last year's NBA draft, was set to play with the national team at the recent World Cup but injured his knee in training camp.

"Xavier is an outstanding young man with a long, promising career ahead of him for both Australia and the Sydney Kings," Kings CEO Chris Pongrass said.

"We expect him to help our team this season and be an important part of our roster moving into next season."

The 203-centimetre swingman is the son of former NBL player Eric Cooks, who is currently an assistant coach with the Illawarra Hawks.

Xavier also has links with Brisbane Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis, who elevated him into the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence.

Cooks, who averaged 11.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists with German side Oliver Wurzburg last year, was lured by the Kings' professionalism.

"I've been around the league for a lot of years watching my dad from a distance and I've seen the very high standards the Kings hold themselves to," Cooks said.

"I'm just hoping to be able to come in and fill in the small pieces.

"I hustle for the ball, I rebound well, I push the ball in transition, but I think my main strength is my versatility so whatever this team needs me to do I'm going to do it."

Cooks is expected to be available to make his debut for the Kings' blockbuster match against Melbourne United on Sunday.

United are the only team to have beaten the Kings (10-1) so far this season.