Temi Fagbenle leads WBBL awards as 2023-24 MVP - Hoopsfix.com

Temi Fagbenle leads WBBL awards as 2023-24 MVP

Temi Fagbenle has been crowned the MVP of the 2023-24 Women’s British Basketball League season to headline the annual awards as voted by the team coaches and captains.

The GB captain finished the unbeaten league campaign for London Lions with averages of 12.8 points and 6.1 rebounds on 72% shooting in only 16.9 minutes per game.

“League Team of the Year, British Team of the Year, Defensive Team of the Year and MVP all in one season? It is such an honour to be recognised by coaches and fellow players across the League as deserving of these accolades,” Fagbenle said via release.

“A big thank you must go to my coach, teammates and support staff – the responsibility I had to them and the trust they had in me helped me flourish. This season was immensely special for many reasons and these awards are a sweet icing on the cake.”

Fagbenle was joined in the Team of the Year by a pair of London Lions teammates in Karlie Samuelson (15.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.8 APG) and Megan Gustafson (16.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG), while Leicester Riders rookie Taylor O’Brien (16.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.6 APG) and Kat Tudor (18.2 PPG, 5.9 RPG) of Essex Rebels rounded out the lineup.

WNBA duo Fagbenle and Samuelson were joined in the British Team of the Year by another Lions star with Holly Winterburn (13.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.4 APG) making a fifth successive appearance in the lineup. There were also places for recent GB debutante Sam Ashby (13.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.3 APG) with the Leicester Riders guard also joined by Sheffield Hatters’ Georgia Gayle (14.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.2 APG).

It was a clean sweep for Fagbenle on the All-WBBL teams having also been voted in the Defensive Team of the Year – this time as the sole Lions representative.

The first-ever Defensive Player of the Year award went to Caledonia Gladiators guard Laken James, with Leicester Riders’ Rayven Peeples also in the lineup alongside Shaq Wade – earning a first All-Team appearance for Oaklands Wolves – and Jess Wayne for a second successive season.

Meanwhile, Megan Haines (9.7 PPG, 3.6 APG) was the recipient of the inaugural Most Improved Player award after a strong year at Essex Rebels also resulted in a GB senior debut. American Abby Meyers (13.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.7 APG) landed the Sixth Player of the Year award to highlight London’s strength in depth in completing a perfect league campaign.

Valerie Cassidy-De Falco (7.7 PPG, 3.2 APG) became the second Nottingham Wildcats player to earn Young Player of the Year honours as the 17-year-old became a regular starter with a season-high of 28 points.

The Betty Codona Coach of the Year award went to Stella Kaltsidou after leading the Lions to a perfect domestic season – with the playoff final pending – as well as enjoying historic European success.

Full list of WBBL awards:

Player of the Year – Temi Fagbenle (London Lions)
Team of the Year – Karlie Samuelson, Megan Gustafson, Temi Fagbenle (London Lions), Kat Tudor (Essex Rebels), Taylor O’Brien (Leicester Riders)
British Team of the Year – Holly Winterburn, Karlie Samuelson, Temi Fagbenle (London Lions), Sam Ashby (Leicester Riders), Georgia Gayle (Sheffield Hatters)
Defensive Team of the Year – Laken James (Caledonia Gladiators), Shaq Wade (Oaklands Wolves), Jess Wayne (Nottingham Wildcats), Temi Fagbenle (London Lions), Rayven Peeples (Leicester Riders)
Most Improved Player – Megan Haines (Essex Rebels)
Defensive Player of the Year – Laken James (Caledonia Gladiators)
Sixth Player of the Year – Abby Meyers (London Lions)
Young Player of the Year – Valerie Cassidy-De Falco (Nottingham Wildcats)
Coach of the Year – Stella Kaltsidou (London Lions)

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