After a terrific season, leading the Canterbury Rams to a regular season title, McKenzie Moore wins Most Valuable Player of National Basketball League and team mate Marcel Jones wins NZ MVP and forward of the year.
Since joining the Rams, Moore guided the franchise to win 10 of the last 12 games to win their first regular season title since 1993. Moore becomes the first Canterbury player to earn the award since it was introduced in 2004. The point guard led the league in both assists (8.0) and steals (3.4) to go along with his 21.3 points. Moore is the first Ram to win both the assist title (Carlo Varricchio) and Most Outstanding guard (Terrence Lewis) awards since 2002.
After a year off from the NBL, Marcel Jones led his side in scoring (23.5), rebounds (9.6) and blocks (1.1) to claim NZ Most Valuable Player and both Most Outstanding NZ and Non-restricted forward. Jones is the first naturalised player to win the NZ MVP since centre Nick Horvath won it in 2012.
Moore and Jones were joined by last year’s MVP Torrey Craig (Wellington Saints) who made the All Star Five for the second straight season, leading the Saints in scoring (21.2) and rebounds (10.0). Ray Cowell was named the other guard in the All Star Five for his season with the Mike Pero Nelson Giants where he finished second in the league in scoring at 25.7 per game. SIT Southland Sharks centre Alex Pledger rounded out the five after leading the Sharks to the semi-finals. Pledger won the rebounding title for the second time, averaging 11.4 a game.
Wellington Saints point guard Shea Ili continued his rapid development, earning NZ Guard of the year, finishing second in the league in assists (5.7) to go with his 15.2 points. Ili also shot nearly 40% from three.
Despite just missing out on the playoffs, the Augusta Airs head coach Ross McMains, won coach of the year in his first season leading his Airs to an 8-10 record, improving drastically from the 0-18 season a year before. Taranaki General Manager Bernie Smith was also rewarded for his hard work to be named Administrator of the Year. Mountainairs forward Logan Elers scooped up rookie of the year, before embarking on his collegiate career in the United States.
Southland Times reporter Logan Savory won back to back Media Awards for his fantastic coverage of both the Southland Sharks season and SIT Final Four. Referee of the year went to Christchurch based Matt Bathurst, who had a terrific year with the whistle, being named in the semi-finals. Bathurst began his career in 2010 and has officiated 85 career NBL games.
After leading the Saints to their ninth NBL title, forward Tai Wesley won Finals Most Valuable Player, averaging 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals in the two games.
2016 National Basketball League Awards
Champions Wellington Saints
Runners Up James Blond Supercity Rangers
Regular Season Winner Canterbury Ram
Best Free Throw Percentage Mike Pero Nelson Giants
Referee of the Year Matt Bathurst (Canterbury)
Administrator of the Year Bernie Smith (Augusta Airs)
Media Award Logan Savory (Southland Times)
Garry Pettis Memorial Trophy – Leading Individual Rebounder Alex Pledger (SIT Zerofees Sharks)
Dave Taylor Trophy – Leading Assists McKenzie Moore (Canterbury Rams)
Leading Scorer Eric Devendorf (Rangers)
Rookie of the Year Logan Elers (Augusta Airs)
Coach of the Year Ross McMains (Augusta Airs)
Keith Carr Trophy – Most Outstanding Guard McKenzie Moore (Rams)
John Macdonald Trophy – Most Outstanding NZ Guard Shea Ili (Wellington Saints)
Commissioners Cup – Most Outstanding Forward Marcel Jones (Rams)
Stan Hill Trophy – Most Outstanding NZ Forward/Centre Marcel Jones (Rams)
All Star Five Torrey Craig (Saints)
McKenzie Moore (Rams)
Ray Cowells (Giants)
Marcel Jones (Rams)
Alex Pledger (Sharks)
Finals Most Valuable Player Tai Wesley (Wellington Saints)
NZ Most Valuable Player Marcel Jones (Canterbury Rams)
Most Valuable Player McKenzie Moore (Rams)