Nelson & Steutel Honoured as EB Announce National League Players & Coaches of the Year


Luke Nelson has become the youngest player selected as Player of the Year in Division 1, after being announced as the winner at just 17 years old on Thursday.

The 1995 born Nelson has been the leader of league winners Reading Rockets this season and adds another accolade to his ever increasing basketball resume, having helped the England U16 and U18 national teams to promotion for the last two summers and being England’s Player of the Year in 2011 (U16) and 2012 (U18).

Nelson averaged double figures in scoring for Reading all season and has come up with some huge plays, including a buzzer-beating three point shot in the Playoff quarter finals that sent Rockets into this weekend’s Final Fours.
Meanwhile, Team Northumbria’s Marc Steutel (pictured below, right) won his second straight Coach of the Year award, having won it in Division 2 last season, and this year taking the Division 1 honour.

Marc Steutel Team NorthumbriaTeam Northumbria finished third in their first D1 Men’s season and have also earned a trip to this weekend’s Final Fours.

In Division 2, Glamorgan’s Matthew Gwynne took the Player of the Year award, whilst Rossendale’s veteran Steve Gayle (North), and Ipswich’s big man Leigh Greenan (South) took Division 3 honours.

1994 born David Akibo, of Barking Abbey, took Division 4 South East Player of the Year honours, whilst Mold’s Alan Duppa (North), Northants’ Leon Henry (Midlands), and Bracknell’s Ben Clarke (South West) each won in their respective conferences.

For the women, Cardiff Archers’ player coach, and GB veteran Stef Collins took the Player of the Year award in Division 1, after averaging 18.2 point, 9.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, whilst Barking Abbey’s Mark Clark won his second consecutive Coach of the Year award.

The full list of Players and Coaches of the Year for 2012/13 is below: Players of the Year 2012/13

D1 Men – Luke Nelson, Reading Rockets
D1 Women – Stef Collins, Cardiff Archers
D2 Men – Matthew Gwynne, Glamorgan Gladiators
D2 Women (North) – Vilma Jurgaityte, Bradford Dragons
D2 Women (Midlands – South West) – Gemma Salmon, Birmingham Mets
D2 Women (Midlands – South East) – Becky Lear, Reading Rockets
D3 Men (North) – Steven Gayle, Rossendale Raptors
D3 Men (South) – Leigh Greenan, Ipswich Tomcats
D4 Men (North) – Alan Duppa, Mold Magic
D4 Men (Midlands) – Leon Henry, Northants Thunder
D4 Men (South West) – Ben Clarke, Bracknell Cobras
D4 Men (South East) – David Akibo, Barking Abbey Coaches of the Year for 2012/13

D1 Men – Marc Steutel, Team Northumbria
D1 Women – Mark Clark, Barking Abbey Leopards
D2 Men – Sam Stiller, Newham Neptunes
D2 Women (North) – Mark Gunn, Bradford Dragons
D2 Women (Midlands – South West) – Gareth Till, Bristol Storm
D2 Women (Midlands – South East) – Manuel Pena-Garces, London Westside
D3 Men (North) – Malcolm Casson, Sefton Stars
D3 Men (South) – Matt Hatchell, Plymouth Marjon
D4 Men (North) – Tony Hanson, Tees Valley Mohawks II
D4 Men (Midlands) – Graham Yates, Northants Thunder
D4 Men (South West) – Robert Banks, Bracknell Cobras
D4 Men (South East) – Frank Holloway, Barking Abbey

*Players of the Year Runners-Up

D1 Women – Helen Naylor (Sheffield)
D2 Women (North) – Rachel Clayden (Bury)
D2 Women (Midlands/South West) – Angelina Brown (Northampton)
D2 Women (Midlands/South East) – Maria Mihes (London Westside)

D1 Men – Rob Marsden (Leeds)
D2 Men – Karolis Stepanavicius (Newham)
D3 Men (North) – Mark Rangeley (Huddersfield)
D3 Men (South) – Daniel Belgrave (Worcester II)

*Coaches of the Year Runners-Up

D1 Women – Vanessa Ellis (Sheffield)
D2 Women (North) – Harry Wood (Sunderland)
D2 Women (Midlands/South West) – Emmanuel Olaiya (Birmingham Mets)
D2 Women (Midlands/South East) – CJ Lee (Solent)

D1 Men – Samit Nuruzade (Reading)
D2 Men – David Lavinier (Eastside)
D3 Men (North) – Matt Shaw (Derby II)
D3 Men (South) – Predrag Krneta (London Greenhouse)

*Runners-up not included for D4 Men as the tallies were too far spread to warrant such a decision.

Selections were made based on votes cast by teams in each respective league, with a points value given to first, second and third place nominations.

Congratulations to all the winners! What do you think? Agree/disagree with any of the selections?

  • Glenn

    I know he’s my team’s coach but how can a coach that does the double not be coach of the year material- take a bow Eduardo Perez you’ve had a great season with an inexperienced and largely young team in winning Division 3 North and the National Shield. Would love to hear arguments against that though

  • Adam

    I think it’s really difficult to comment and we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes or what environments these coaches are in, so it’s tough to really judge which coaches are doing the best jobs……

    However, I see your point Glen – Worcester and Ipswich have finished first and second in the south two years running, last year in Div Four and this year in Div Three yet neither coach was even a runner up……

    People have also got short memories – the Plymouth coach did a fantastic job in the play-offs and definitely deserves major recognition, having gone through some tough teams to win it but they also nearly missed out on the play-offs, finishing fourth in a league of ten, with the runner-up from Pioneers who finished fifth. That means coaches of essentially two mid-table teams were voted the leagues best! But like I say, we don’t know the reasons why their peers voted for them – they obviously did a great job and deserve our congratulations!

  • Alex

    D4 (North) definentely Jason Swaine, scores with such ease at his age!! Man is a beast

  • Matt Hooper

    Just seen this on twitter
    I must say that England Basketball HAVE to make it clearer what is at stake in terms of winning the various competitions. Plymouth clearly thought that winning the playoffs would give them a case for promotion. which is not the rule at all. ONLY the teams finishing in first or second in each conference can apply meaning Plymouth’s playoff win, while an amazing achievement considering who they went through – is meaningless in terms of promotion.

    I might also explain why it is often the case that the league winners often don’t win the playoffs. I think England Basketball need to A: Make the benefits or lack of them clearer with regard to the playoffs and B: actually decide what the purpose of the playoffs is.

    Right now there is far more incentive to win the league than the playoffs in Div four and three especially.

    Plymouth also need to consider that they had the SEVENTH best win % in division three this season and that may be a reason why they have not been promoted???

  • Adam

    Mmmmmmmmm “Plymouth crushed Ipswich when the stakes were highest”.

    This is the misconception that the playoffs mean more than the league – sadly (for Plymouth) not! I’m pretty certain if you ask Worcester II or Huddersfield then they wouldn’t swap their league title for winning the playoffs. If you look on the Plymouth website they call themselves the Division Three Champions? If they were Division Three Champions then surely they would have been promoted? I agree it needs clearing up…….

    But Plymouth should be happy that the coaches from across the south have voted Hatchell as the Coach of the Year, which suggests the rest of the league pin some significance on the playoffs even if the governing body doesn’t!!

  • Jay

    Plymouth should feels lucky they were in that situation. had Pioneers not waited until Xmas to start playing they wouldn’t have even been in the playoffs. A team can’t get promoted for winning a one game playoff series on a neutral court. EBBA might be dumb but not that dumb!!!! And the teams that finished above them shouldn’t have a whole seasons hard work wiped out b’cos of one bad game

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