2021/22 NBL Awards week: Division One Men

We've reached the end of our week of NBL awards, closing with Division One Men.

Monday saw the announcement of Division Three's winners, with WNBL Division Two on Tuesday and NBL Division Two on Wednesday.

The back end of the week saw WNBL Division One's recipients announced yesterday, just leaving today's winners from D1M.

All week long we've been recognise the best and brightest from this season's NBL and WNBL competitions ahead of this weekend's NBL and WNBL playoff finals from Manchester.

Wilson Player of the Year

After a highly successful debut season in the NBL, Solent's Cole Gentry is this year's Wilson Player of the Year.

In a close run contest between a number of D1M's leading lights, Gentry managed to get himself out in front once all the votes had been counted, collecting an impressive six first place selections from opposition coaches.

Helping the Kestrels to another league title and a 24-2 record, the Wright State University alum averaged 30.6MPG to close with 19.1PPG, 5.8APG and sixth spot on the league's efficiency charts.

Wilson Coach of the Year

After leading Derby to a late season push and third in the standings, Derby's Matt Shaw is the Wilson Coach of the Year.

Winning this award for the second time after scooping it in 2015/16, the Trailblazers went 19-7 this season, closing the campaign with a 7-0 run.

Shaw has also overseen the stellar play of the likes of former BBL man Raheem May-Thompson, Player of the Year candidate Malcolm Smith and the continued development of young star Blake Bowman.

Team of the Year

With Player of the Year Cole Gentry moving straight into the league's Team of the Year by default, the Solent man is joined by the next four highest vote getters to round out a starting five.

Hemel's Taylor Johnson led the league in both efficiency and points (27.1PPG) this regular season, highlighting his impact across the campaign.

Hakeem Sylla averaged a 20.0PPG and 11.9RPG double-double, making him a near lock for that feat almost every time he took to the court for Thames Valley.

Ronald Blain helped Newcastle to a 15-11 record plus a spot in both the National Cup and L Lynch Trophy finals. The American shooter dropped 22.5PPG, adding 9.4RPG and 5.1APG to show his versatility.

Blake Bowman rejoined Derby midway through the campaign but still made such an impact the D1M coaches couldn't leave him off their voting forms. 

Playing 22 games, the young wing averaged 19.1PPG along with 5.8RPG to round out this year's team.

British Team of the Year

Bowman is the only player to retain his place from the league's Team of the Year, making for plenty of change in the British Team of the Year.

American Cole Gentry bows out, replaced instead by team mates Luke Busumbru and Orlan Jackman.

Busumbru (14.0PPG, 5.8RPG, 4,9APG) played in every game this season as an integral part of the Kestrels' game plan, whilst former BBLer Jackman averaged 22.0MPG for 11.3PPG and 6.4RPG.

Nottingham's Morakinyo Williams showed himself to be one of the league's premier forwards, averaging a near double-double of 19.0PPG and 9.4RPG.

Worthing's Hafeez Abdul was often the Thunder's go to on offence, with the former Hemel Storm man dropping 19.8PPG along with 7.4RPG.

Defensive Player of the Year

Earning yet another accolade for the Trailblazers, forward Raheem May-Thompson has been singled out as the Defensive Player of the Season.

The former Worcester Wolves, Cheshire Phoenix and Leicester Riders man has been in great form all season long, helping his team to a league fourth-best 82.0PPG allowed.

Leading D1M in blocks with 1.6 per outing, the 31-year-old also pulled down 4.6 defensive rebounds a game to go with 1.5SPG.

Young (U19) Player of the Year

London Lions II's young wing Brandon Tchouya is the recipient of this year's Young Player of the Year award.

The 6'6" wing impressed players and coaches alike as the Lions sprung out to a surprising top four challenge in the first half of the season before settling for a 9-17 record.

Averaging 11.4PPG, 5.6RPG and 1.6SPG across 29.0MPG, the former Islington Panthers junior was able to transfer his ABL-winning form with Dagenham Park into the NBL as he continues his development in the game.

Best Game Day Experience

Hemel's "Storm Dome" at the Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre is well-known as one of the best places to experience D1M basketball.

Unsurprisingly, that view is shared by the rest of the league's teams who voted Storm as having the Best Game Day Experience this season, narrowly pipping the Essex Rebels.


As with the awards from previous seasons, each head coach from across the division was invited to nominate a selection of their own players that they considered in the running for each accolade.

Each shortlist was then compiled centrally and sent back to the club's involved, and each head coach was given three votes to allocate across this year's shortlist (with teams unable to vote for their own players).

A first place vote was worth three points, a second place vote was worth two points, and a third place vote was worth one point, and the recipient with the highest number of points was the winner.

For Player of the Year, Team of the Year and British Team of the Year, coaches were given five votes to distribute rather than just three.

Senior Playoff Finals

Today's awards bring to a close the week of NBL and WNBL end of season honours in the lead up to this weekend's senior playoff finals at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester.

To purchase tickets for the event, please click the button below. Coverage of the event will be available through our NBL social channels, which are also linked below.