British Basketball Player of the Year Nominations 2012

The Standard Life GB men’s and women’s senior teams have enjoyed a fantastic and historic year as they competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games while the under 20 teams have also been recognized in the award nominations for efforts made at the respective European Championships.

As in previous year’s, the nominations feature an award for the Standard Life GB senior team in the ‘Athlete of the Year’ award and returning for the second year will be the ‘Emerging Athlete’ honour which recognises the rising stars of British Basketball.

The nominees are:

Athlete of the Year (also the BOA Athlete of the Year nominees)

Luol Deng (senior men), Joel Freeland (senior men), Jo Leedham (senior women), Nate Reinking (senior men), Natalie Stafford (senior women).

British Basketball British Basketball British Basketball
Joel Freeman Natalie Stafford Nate Reinking
British Basketball British Basketball
Jo Leedham Luol Deng

Emerging Athlete of the Year

Renee Busch(GB under 20 women), Alasdair Fraser (GB under 20 men), Myles Hesson (GB Futures men), Jess Hurd (GB under 20 women), Devon van Oostrum (GB Futures and under 20 men).

Previous winners of the ‘Athlete of the Year’ award have included Julie Page (2011), Pops Mensah-Bonsu (2010), Jo Leedham (2009) and Luol Deng (2008 and 2007). Devon van Oostrum won the inaugural ‘Emerging Athlete of the Year’ in 2011 when he made his debut for the Standard Life GB senior men’s team following strong performances with the GB under-20 men.

British Basketball’s Performance Director, Chris Spice, commented on the nominations: “2012 has been a fantastic year of sport and it’s great to round it off with these awards for our players who have all contributed significantly to the last 12 months.

“The awards are always a great way to end our seasons but this year in particular the titles will be in high demand by our players. I’m pleased that we can not only recognise our senior teams in these awards after the experiences they have had a London 2012 but also our rising stars of the future with the ‘Emerging Athlete’ award which has returned again. I thought in 2011 it was a great addition to the awards.

“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all the team’s this year for their efforts and especially those players that have been nominated for awards. The shortlisted individuals should be extremely proud of what they and their teams’ have achieved in this exciting year.”

Playing in their first Olympic Games ever, the Standard Life GB women were not able to register a victory in London but they won many admirers en route, giving a good account of themselves against some of the world’s elite.

Natalie Stafford impressed with her 100% free throw success at the London tournament as she was the only player to do this as well as achieving 15.6 points per game average in front of the Olympic crowds, the most of any guard at the competition. Her determination and uncompromising defense inspired those around her and helped keep GB close in big matches as she led the team from the front.

GB’s Jo Leedham came joint top in points per game for the London Olympics with an impressive 16.2 average earning her nomination for ‘Athlete of the Year’. As the ‘go-to’ player Jo, constantly came up with points when the team needed them most.

For the senior men, they were able to sign off their London 2012 campaign with their first ever Olympic victory when they thrashed China, 90-58.

It was Joel Freeland’s last game of the Olympics before heading off to play for the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA for the 2012/13 season, a fantastic end to a great summer with British Basketball for the forward. During the Olympics Freeland had a 14.6 points per game average which saw him finish 13th in the overall stats for men’s forwards, ahead of the USA’s LeBron James.

GB star player, Luol Deng brought his leadership skills to the London Olympics by topping the stats for points per game for his side with a 15.8 average and 4.6 assists, which also made him ninth overall in the tournament stats on both counts. He also grabbed 6.6 rebounds per game during the London Olympics.

Meanwhile, Nate Reinking signed off his GB career with 12 points in their first ever victory at an Olympics. Reinking had a great London Games sinking 35.7% of his signature three pointers and 9.2 points per game average. Nate stepped-up as the starting point-guard for the injured Mike Lenzley and his contribution was outstanding.

Following the London Olympics, the GBmen’s team jumped up 20 places to rank 23rd in the world while the women’s side took a huge 25 place leap to sit 24th in the FIBA rankings.

Both British Basketball sides gained more places than any other side following this year’s Olympic Games representing the huge strides made by the teams in the lead up to London 2012.

Returning to the 2012 awards is the ‘Emerging Athlete’ category with five of the most promising young talents shortlisted to receive the honour.

In the under-20 women’s European Championships the GB side were unfortunately hindered by injuries and illness but Great Britain Coach, Frans Griffioen, said he felt nothing but pride for his girls who he commended for their ‘never-say-die’ attitude throughout.

One of those girls was Jess Hurd who came third overall in field goal percentage for the tournament with 50% and 11 points per game as well as grabbing a 6.7 rebounds average.

Another of Griffioen’s players, Renee Busch had a stand out tournament. Busch hit 100% of her free throws in the European Championships. Her stand out game came in the 49-55 loss to Russia early in the Championship where she topped the stats with 16 points and 7 rebounds.

The under-20 GB men equalled their best-ever European performance and had some key wins in Sofia earlier this year.

For the under-20 men, last year’s ‘Emerging Athlete of the Year’, Devon van Oostrum is nominated once again. After attending the Futures and senior camps, Devon went on the have stand out performances for the under-20 men at the European Championships where he led in assists for the whole tournament with 6.4. He also led in free throws made with 6.6 and three point field goals attempted with 7.4 and had a huge 19.6 points per game average. His impressive stats meant he was named on the All-Tournament team for the Under-20 men’s European Championships 2012.

Alasdair Fraser earned his nomination after top scoring for GB at the European Championships with a 19.7 point per game average ranking him the tournament’s third highest scorer. He also was the tournaments top ranking player in field goals made and two-point field goals attempted and made. Ali’s dominance of the key meant GB were able to have a huge inside threat that the opponents found difficult to handle.

Myles Hesson is also nominated after he was called up to the senior camp due to his good performances with the GB Futures which he was called up to for a three game series against Lithuania. It was his play in game three of this series which earned him a call up to senior squad camp. Following his time with the seniors Hesson was named as the 14th man for the senior team for London 2012, highlighting his rapid rise and future potential.

The British Basketball Player of the Year Award and Emerging Athlete award winners will be announced in early January 2013.

Courtesy British Basketball

You must be logged in to post a comment Login