- National Teams
Joel Freeland, Luke Nelson, and Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye have been England Basketball’s Player of the Year 2012 in each of their respective categories.
The awards recognise “outstanding and consistent leadership, teamwork and application based on performances on court, off court, in training and in competition”.
Joel Freeland repeats as Senior Men’s Player of the Year, adding to his 2011 award, after he became the first British player to represent his country and the NBA since Luol Deng.
After being drafted in 2006 by the Portland Trail Blazers, Freeland finally joined the world’s top league, after become one of the premier big men in Europe. At the London 2012 Olympics, Freeland averaged 14.6 points and 6.6 rebounds on 46.9% field goal shooting.
In the Under-18 category, Luke Nelson added to his 2011 Under-16 England Basketball Player of the Year award, after helping lead England U18s to the bronze medal and promotion to Division A in 2013 whilst being named to the All-Tournament team.
“I’ve nominated Luke for his outstanding performances at the European Championship,” said England head coach Steve Bucknall. “He was an achiever both on and off the court, in training and in all circumstances.”
Luke featured in the tournament top ten in points (16.7), assists (3.4), free throw percentage (83.9%) and had a huge semi final game against Bosnia & Herzegovina with 33 points and 10 rebounds. In the midst of a very strong season in Division 1 with Reading Rockets, Nelson also committed to NCAA Division 1 school UCI Irvine in November, heading to the US for his freshman year in 2013/14.
Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye was named the England Under-16 Player of the Year after averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds in Division A at the European Championships.
“Dwayne represented outstanding effort and leadership,” commmented England U16 head coach Andreas Kapoulous. “He performed at a high level with professionalism on and off the court and demonstrated superb sacrifice for the team.”
He averaged 10.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.8 steals per game, whilst being amongst the tournament’s top ten in fouls drawn per game (6.3) and minutes played (30.6).
Domestically, he won the U16 National Cup with NASSA whilst being named MVP, and helped lead the team to a Final Fours appearance where they lost in the final against Manchester. He has joined Bristol Academy Flyers this season, where he is making contributions in Division 1.
For the women, Team GB member and Olympian Natalie Stafford took the Senior Women’s award, being the Games’ fifth leading scorer at 15.6 per game. Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby secured the Under-18 award, after being a crucial part of the European Division B silver medalists and promotion winning England Under-18 side, and Leah McDerment in the Under-16 category, after leading the Division A England U16 side in scoring at 9.8 per game, hitting double figures in 5 of England’s 9 games.
Congratulations to all the winners!