2021/22 NBL Awards week: Division Two Men

As we continue our week of NBL awards, we take a look at Division Two Men.

Following on from Monday's announcement of Division Three's winners, and those recognised yesterday in WNBL Division Two, today we delve into the winners from both the North and South conferences in D2M.

All week long we'll recognise the best and brightest from this season's NBL and WNBL competitions, with D1W still to come tomorrow and D1M on Friday. All awards will be announced from 2pm onwards.

North Conference

Player of the Year

The North Conference Player of the Year for 2021/22 goes to Doncaster's Rob Marsden.

The 33-year-old forward helped the Eagles to a 15-7 record, tied for second spot with Northamptonshire Titans, as one of the top teams in the standings.

Playing 36.6 minutes per game, the former BBL man led the league in efficiency, rebounds and assists, with a final stat line for the regular season of 18.5PPG, 14.7RPG and 6.7APG.

Coach of the Year

After leading his team to a conference best 19-3 record in the regular season, Manchester's Peter Paraskeva has been highlighted as the Coach of the Year.

Magic led the league in defence, allowing just 66.4PPG, putting the building blocks in place to rebuild the North West side's fortunes after they dropped out of D1M in 2018/19.

Paraskeva was also a landslide selection, not only receiving the most votes from fellow coaches but also the most first-place selections from his peers.

Team of the Year

With Player of the Year Rob Marsden automatically taking up a spot in the Conference's Team of the Year, the Doncaster forward is joined by the next four highest vote getters to round out a starting five.

Bristol's DeVaughan Rucker was second to Marsden in efficiency this season, whilst topping the league's scoring charts at 28.4PPG.

Manchester's Pharroh Gordon was also a logical choice, ranking fifth for efficiency, ninth for points (18.8PPG) and first for steals (3.1SPG) for the league winners.

Marsden's Doncaster running mate Mathew Martin (20.6PPG, sixth best efficiency) enjoyed a great season and gets the nod here, with Northamptonshire Titans' Jason Tucker (17.2PPG, 10.5RPG, 5.7APG) converting his D3 East Player of the Year award in 2019/20 into further recognition here.

British Team of the Year

Rob Marsden - Doncaster Eagles
Pharroh Gordon - Manchester Magic
Jason Tucker - Northamptonshire Titans
Mathew Martin - Doncaster Eagles
Leon Henry - Northamptonshire Titans

Marsden, Gordon, Tucker and Martin all transition from the Conference's Team of the Year straight into the British Team of the Year.

American DeVaughan Rucker bows out, with his place taken by Northamptonshire Titans' Leon Henry.

The former Hemel Storm, Solent Kestrels and Leicester Warriors man averaged 20.7PPG and 3.5APG this season for the conference runners up.

Defensive Player of the Year

Tyrell Brown - Manchester Magic

With Manchester sporting the toughest defence in D2M, it's no surprise to find one of their players collecting Defensive Player of the Year honours.

The nod goes to Tyrell Brown, who helped to anchor Peter Paraskeva's defence to a table-topping 19-3 and a trip back to D1M.

Playing in all 22 of Manchester's games, Brown averaged 21.2MPG with 1.5SPG.

Young (U19) Player of the Year

Bryan Akanmu - Myerscough College

A growing light within the game, Myerscough Bryan Akanmu adds D2M Young Player of the Year honours to the EABL North Conference MVP award he claimed earlier this season.

Akanmu helped Myerscough to fifth in the standings, missing out on the post season by the narrowest of margins as his team lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with the 12-10 Derbyshire Arrows.

With splits of 16.8PPG, 10.6RPG and 1.7SPG, the young forward caught the eye of players and coaches alike all season long.

Best Game Day Experience

City of Birmingham Rockets

City of Birmingham Rockets were runaway winners of the North Conference's Best Game Day Experience award.

Collecting the most votes and the most first place selection, the West Midlands side clearly made both fans and travelling teams feel welcome, converting that hospitality into a well-earned accolade.

South Conference

Player of the Year

South Conference Player of the Year honours go to Westminster Warriors' captain Jon Johnson.

After being with the team since way back in 2007/08 when the side were still in D4, Johnson used his skills to help the Warriors all the way into D1 come 2011/12, and now they'll be heading back there once again after an unbeaten 22-0 record saw his team win the South conference.

Topping the league's 3PT% at 43.8, Johnson played 29.0MPG to close the season on 14.3PPG, 8.8RPG, 3.7APG and 2.2SPG.

"This season has been both the most challenging and yet also the Warriors most successful season," he said.

"Coming back after COVID, putting together a new team and dealing with the lowest levels of fitness of my career, they have all been hurdles. But Warriors' players and staff had such high expectations, standards and determination that I had no choice to push through and overcome.

"Every game becomes easier when the team is behind you, having pushed you to the mental and physical limit in practice sessions to fully prepare you for whatever challenge comes at you on the weekend.

"Despite not getting to the playoff finals, the team and I achieved something not many people have or will achieve - going the whole season unbeaten - and to be at the forefront of that is a great feeling and a blessing that I am very proud of, especially at this stage in my career."

Coach of the Year

Sussex Bears' signal caller Gary Smith has been voted as the conference's Coach of the Year after guiding his side to a 16-6 season and second spot behind the Warriors.

Smith, a former player with Worthing and also a former Thunder head coach, helped to set up the Bears back in 2014 and has orchestrated their rise through the NBL pyramid ever since.

Winner of the D4 South East COTY award in 2014/15, Smith can add another accolade to his resume after overseeing what has been a highly respectable campaign.

Team of the Year

Player of the Year Jon Johnson automatically slides into the Conference's Team of the Year, with the next four highest vote getters making up the remaining selections.

Johnson's team mate Justin Hitchman earns a spot after the forward's 17.8PPG, 6.4RPG campaign for the Warriors.

Solent youngster Kai Walker also gets a nod, with the 21-year-old averaging 18.1PPG and 11.3RPG for the Kestrels.

Greenwich Titans' Arturo Noha was the leading scorer in the South Conference, with his 19.7PPG pushing him into the five, whilst Sussex's Tomas Seduikis (17.3PPG, 7.4RPG) rounds out this year's selections.

British Team of the Year

Jon Johnson - Westminster Warriors
Justin Hitchman - Westminster Warriors
Kai Walker - Team Solent Kestrels II
Lanre Ayinla - Greenwich Titans
Jamie Cummins - Oxford Hoops

Johnson, Hitchman and Walker are all retained in the conference's British Team of the Year, with just two changes required for Noha and Seduikis.

Greenwich instead switch selections, with 21-year-old Lanre Ayinla (17.7PPG, 4.5RPG) coming into the team for the Titans.

Jamie Cummins from Oxford Hoops also earned favour with the voting coaches, and it's easy to see why after averaging a 17.2PPG and 11.5RPG double-double this season.

Defensive Player of the Year

Moses Gordon - Baltic Stars Medelynas

At 6'6", Moses Gordon has been patrolling the paint for BC Medelynas all season long, and his 1.6 blocks per game made him a solid choice for the conference's Defensive Player of the Year award.

Pulling down 5.1 defensive rebounds per outing across 27.3MPG, Gordon helped his team to an 8-14 record, good for seventh place in the standings.

Young (U19) Player of the Year

Nedas Cholevinskas - Baltic Stars Medelynas

Baltic Stars make it a one-two as Nedas Cholevinskas joins Gordon, picking up the Young Player of the Year award.

The 6'5" wing impressed rival coaches with his play across 2021/22, earning 31.0MPG as he dropped 15.7PPG, a team-high.

With the 17-year-old also notching his team's best efficiency rating, it shows how good he was at both ends of the court this season.

Best Game Day Experience

Sussex Bears

Enjoying a successful season on court, the Bears also excelled off it as they scooped the conference's Best Game Day Experience award.

The Sir Robert Woodard Academy was the place to be this season to take in a D2M South game, and the Bears can rightly be pleased with how they've promoted the sport this season.


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 continue 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, as will the remaining awards from the rest of this week.