Our NBL awards week comes to an end today as we announce the 2018/19 winners from NBL Division One Men. After counting up the votes cast by the other teams in the division, we have the names of this year's Wilson Player of the Year, Wilson Coach of the Year and Team of the Year winners! We also have a list of other awards including Best Commentator, Best Game Day Experience, Best Team Secretary and Best Social Media!
division one men
Wilson Player of the Year: Zaire Taylor (Worthing Thunder)
Zaire Taylor receives the Wilson Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season after another outstanding campaign. The 6'4 veteran guard and ex-BBL star averaged 21.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists for the Thunder whilst shooting 50% from the field. His dominant play led the Thunder to the 2019 NBL National Trophy, as well as falling just short of a Division One League title with a 22-4 record. Taylor will have another chance to lead his side to some silverware when the Thunder face the Kestrels in the NBL Senior Finals on April 28.
Wilson Coach of the Year: Matt Guymon (Team Solent Kestrels)
After securing the NBL Division One league title, Solent Kestrels coach Matt Guymon is without doubt the Coach of the Year winner for the 2018/19 season. Guymon took the Kestrels to their first NBL Division One league title in over 20 years after defeating Essex Leopards at the end of the regular season, finishing with a 22-4 record overall. Guymon will no doubt look to secure the Playoff title when the Kestrels face a tough Worthing Thunder side in the Playoff Finals on April 28 and add one more trophy to this season's achievements.
At the guard position, its no argument that Zaire Taylor deserves a spot on the 2018/19 Team of the Year. The 6'4 American guard is the Division One MVP for the second consecutive year after dropping 21.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists for the Thunder, which lead them to a second place league finish and the 2019 National Trophy. Taylor was a man on a mission, dominating anyone that got in his way and he will be no doubt be looking to get his hands on the Playoff Finals Trophy when the Thunder take on Team Solent Kestrels next Sunday.
Forward Travis Charles makes the Team of the Year after an incredible season with Team Solent Kestrels. The 6'6 American import was unstoppable this season, averaging a huge 23.7 points and 9 rebounds whilst shooting an incredible 62.4% from the field in his debut NBL campaign. Charles was a match-up that proved too much for most to handle, using his physical presence and high scoring ability to dominate the competition. His performance was undoubtedly a key part of the Kestrels' league title success.
Leicester Warriors' Raphell Thomas-Edwards makes the Team of the Year after an impressive 2018/19. The 6'6 wing player was a monster on the boards, leading the league in rebounds with 14.5 per game and dropping multiple big double-double games throughout the season. The Great Britain U20 International was also the leagues fourth leading scorer, averaging 23 points per game. The talented British player grew up playing in the Leicester Warriors program as a junior, and has a wealth of experience with the National team set-ups including representing England U16's and U18's, GB U20's and experience at NCAA D1 University of Buffalo in the U.S.
Thames Valley Cavaliers had a terrific NBL Division One debut season thanks to star player Abdoulaye Sylla. The German forward has made his mark on the league, averaging an impressive double-double of 20.1 points and 11.1 rebounds this season whilst shooting 60% from the field to help lead his side to the fourth spot in the league standings.
Herm Senor II
Arguably one of the best guards in NBL Division One, its no surprise that Solent Kestrels' Herm Senor II makes the Team of the Year. The 5'11 guard from Springfield, Illinois in the U.S has established himself as one of the leagues best guards since joining the Kestrels out of NCAA D2 Quincy University in 2017/18. He was last seasons National Trophy Finals MVP, and proved too hard too guard once again this season as he dropped 18.1 points and dished out 7.3 assists to go along with 4.8 rebounds and 3 steals per game on his way to winning a league title.
Team of the Year selections were made using statistics from the 2018/19 season, selecting the top two guards and top two forwards, plus one other, based on adjusted efficiency (efficiency and team win percentage) and a number of other statistical factors.
Best Commentator: Worthing Thunder
Best Game Day Experience: Worthing Thunder
Best Team Secretary: Worthing Thunder
Best Social Media: Team Solent Kestrels