From the Basketball Journalists’ Association
Newcastle Eagles guard Trey Moore has been named as the British Basketball League’s Player of the Year by the UK’s Basketball Journalists Association.
The American-born star was the second-highest scorer in the BBL this season with 22.7 points per game while grabbing a league-high average of 6.2 assists. A broken bone in his foot, sustained in late March, saw the 35-year-old miss both the title run-in as well as the play-offs as the Eagles came up short.
However Moore was still chosen for the annual award, pipping Mersey Tigers and Great Britain captain Drew Sullivan into second place with his Mersey team-mate Nate Reinking in third.
“I’m delighted to get the award,” said Moore. “But I’d trade it if Newcastle could have won the play-off title, or any other silverware this season. It’s satisfying to be recognised individually but my goal was to win the league or a cup this year and it’s disappointing we couldn’t accomplish it. My injury just came at the worst possible time.”
Mersey Tigers, who will attempt to complete a domestic treble in Saturday’s BBL play-off final, secured two awards from the writers and broadcasters who regularly cover the league.
Tony Garbelotto was overwhelmingly voted by the BJA as the Coach of the Year for his work in guiding Mersey to the league and Trophy. Plymouth Raiders rookie playcaller Gavin Love was second with Newcastle’s Fab Flournoy – the 2010 winner – in third.
And the achievements of the Tigers all-British line-up were recognised as the Liverpool side took the top three places in the voting for the Pete Jacques British Player of the Year.
Mersey forward Andrew Thomson claims the honour after an outstanding season in which the England international proved to be one of the totems of the Tigers success. He edged team-mate David Aliu into second place with James Jones in third.
“Andrew has some of the best fundamental skills in the league but he went away last summer and just got stronger and quicker,” said Garbelotto.
“He’s grown and he’s not afraid to be make the big plays even though he’s selfless as well. He was unbelievable in the semi-finals a last weekend. He destroyed a great front line that Cheshire has.
”He’s become that prototype power forward in Europe in that he can hurt teams off the dribble as well as inside. It’s a shame there’s a logjam at that position for GB at the moment but he’s still got another three or four years to reach that level.”
Garbelotto, whose side faces Sheffield in the season finale in Birmingham next weekend, added: “I’ve just been blessed this season that despite all the court-court issues, I’ve had such a great group of guys who have done everything I’ve asked them to do.”
Chicago Bulls and Great Britain forward Luol Deng is the Syd Lipski International Player of the Year. The Londoner starred for GB in last summer’s Eurobasket qualifiers before enjoying arguably his finest season in the NBA as the Bulls claimed the league’s best regular season record.
Deng takes the award – newly named after Syd Lipski, the pioneering British basketball journalist who died in February – for the second successive season. Malaga and GB centre Joel Freeland is the runner-up for the second year in a row following another brilliant campaign in the both the Spanish ACB and the Euroleague. Their GB team-mate Pops Mensah-Bonsu, currently playing for French side Asvel, was third.
UPCOMING SJA DATES
Mon Sep 12: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Click here for more details and to book yourself in for the day.
Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – note the date in your diary now.
All details subject to alteration. Keep checking sportsjournalists.co.uk for updates