2017 AWARD WINNERS
Following the culmination of the 2017 NWBL Finals, the award winners were announced with Brendan Dowler taking out the Coach of the Year after his Wollongong Rollerhawks claimed the Championship.
Wollongong were also able to celebrate Brett Stibners who took out the Finals MVP after averaging 25 points, 7.5 rebounds and seven assists across their two wins as the Rollerhawks swept the playoffs.
The MVP’s were announced with Jannik Blair from the Red Dust Heelers earning the Low-Point MVP.
Finishing with career highs for points (7.3), rebounds (3.1) and hitting more field goals than any previous season, Blair was a critical member of the Heelers in 2017, playing a full 40 minutes in 11 of the club’s 18 games.
The Mid-Point MVP was a tie between Shaun Norris (Be Active Perth Wheelcats) and Tom O’Neill-Thorne (Queensland Spinning Bullets).
For the second consecutive season, Norris averaged a triple-double of 27.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 11.4 assists while he also finished second for three-pointers made and fourth for free-throws made in a brilliant season for the Wheelcats who narrowly missed a playoff spot.
O’Neill-Thorne was inspirational for Queensland as they upset Kilsyth to earn the bronze medal on the weekend, tallying 36 points and 12 assists.
The Australian Roller also finished fifth in the league for scoring with 22.2 points per game while maintaining career averages of 9.1 rebounds and 6.8 assists.
Despite the disappointment of their finals campaign, the Kilsyth Cobras were given reason to smile with Tristan Knowles claiming the High-Point MVP.
One of only four players to average a double-double on the season, Knowles collected 24.5 points, seven rebounds and 11.1 assists per contest.
His efficiency at the offensive end was exemplified as he finished first for free-throws made and free-throw percentage as well as three-pointers made and three-point percentage.
Scoring at least 12 points every game, Knowles also recorded three triple-doubles for the year.
Joining those players in the All-Star Five was John McPhail from the Sydney Metro Blues who was an extremely consistent contributor for the silver medalists throughout 2017, even when coming off the bench.
He had a scoreless debut but reached double-figures in 15 of his next 18 games while hitting 55% from the field for 11.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per contest while also owning a team-high 6.8 assists.
Team mate Joe Chambers was the season’s top scorer, taking the competition by storm having arrived after Round 1.
He shot an outrageous 61% from the field, scoring at least 14 points every game while recording 35+ on four occasions with a season-high of 50 coming against Kilsyth.
The USA import also had seven double-doubles and averaged 25.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists in the playoffs to help secure the Blues’ silver medal.