England Basketball Players of the Year 2012
We are pleased to announce the Players of the Year for 2012.
These awards are in recognition of outstanding and consistent leadership, teamwork and application based on performances on court, off court, in training and in competition.
An excerpt of each youth winner's nomination by their head coach is included below.
Dwayne averaged over 10 points and 6 rebounds per game for England in the European Championship Division A tournament. He was amongst the tournament’s top ten in fouls drawn per game (6.3) and minutes played (30.6).
"Dwayne represented outstanding effort and leadership. He performed at a high level with professionalism on and off the court and demonstrated superb sacrifice for the team."
England's U16 Women also played in Division A in the 2012 European Championship in Hungary and point guard Leah McDerment led her team with a 9.8 points per game average. She hit double figure scoring in five of England's nine games and played at least 26 minutes in all but one.
"For overall leadership and growth within the program, she was a huge motivational factor through a tough tournament."
Luke Nelson followed his selection as the England Player of the Year in 2011 (U16 Men) by taking this honour again for the older age group in 2012. Luke was selected to the European Championship All Tournament Team in 2012 helping lead England to the bronze medal and promotion to Division A for 2013.
Luke featured in the tournament top ten in points (16.7), assists (3.4), free throw percentage (83.9%) and had a huge semi final game against Bosnia & Herzegovina with 33 points and 10 rebounds.
"I've nominated Luke for his outstanding performances at the European Championship. He was an achiever both on and off the court, in training and in all circumstances."
After their promotion to Division A following a silver medal at the 2012 European Championship, U18 Women's head coach Len Busch nominated Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby as the English Player of the Year.
Although not amongst the top players statistically, Harriet played a valuable role on the team earning big minutes in all games and in the 71-67 win over Belarus, she scored 10 points hitting all six of her free throws.
"On a very talented promotion-winning team no one better exemplified outstanding and consistent leadership, teamwork and application across the board than Harriet. Her work ethic is outstanding and her future is bright."
Joel Freeland repeats as England Player of the Year (Senior Men) after Great Britain's first Olympic basketball performance since 1948. Joel was second only to Luol Deng in scoring for GB at the London Olympics, averaging 14.6 points over five preliminary games, and the two players were even in the rebounding department grabbing 6.6 boards each.
Joel, a native of Southampton, also officially joined the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers this season becoming the first British person to play for both his country and world's top league since Deng.
British naturalized citizen Natalie Stafford was selected as the Senior Women England Player of the Year for her role in the 2012 London Olympics. Stafford was a crucial element of coach Tom Maher’s British team in London as her 15.6 point per game was fifth overall at the Games and she drew fouls at a higher rate than anyone in the tournament.
Stafford has played national league basketball in England with Southend Swifts and Barking Abbey but has since moved back to her native Australia.
Photo Credits: Nelson - FIBA Europe, Stafford - MAP