Great Britain Senior Women’s player Natalie Stafford has been named British Basketball’s Player of the Year, with Alasdair Fraser picking up the Emerging Athlete of the Year award.
Stafford will also receive the 2012 Olympic Athlete of the Year Award for basketball in what was a historic year for the sport as they competed at a home Games in London 2012.
“I am extremely proud and excited to receive this award,” said Stafford. “2012 was a tough year where I ate, slept and breathed basketball. A lot of sacrifice went into my preparation for the London Olympics, but it was all definitely worth it. The support at the basketball games was amazing and although we didn’t win a game, the home crowd were fantastic and totally behind us.”
Playing in their first Olympic Games ever, the GB women finished 0-5 but Stafford averaged 15.6 points per outing to be the team’s second leading scorer.
Ali Fraser was named the Emerging Athlete of the Year after leading the GB U20s in scoring at the Division B European Championships, averaging 19.7 points per game, good for third in the tournament.
“I am very grateful to everyone who I have worked with at British Basketball and am very proud to receive this honour,” said the 6’7″ forward who plays NCAA Division 1 basketball at the University of Maine. “It was unexpected to win the award with such great competition from other players and I am over the moon to receive this news.
“I am very honoured to be able to play for Great Britain, simply being able to represent my country is amazing and this award is really an added bonus. I am happy that I have been able to contribute to the GB national team and hope to be able to continue to contribute in the future.”
Fraser was the tournament’s top ranking player in field goals made and had his best outing against Belgium where he dropped 37 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists (see a breakdown of his stats and performances here). He becomes just the second player to win the award, after GB U20 teammate Devon van Oostrum won the inaugural award in 2011.
Stafford joins the likes of Julie Page (2011), Pops Mensah-Bonsu (2010) and Luol Deng (2007 and 2008) in receiving the Player of the Year honour.