Defensive awards for Brown and Norton

Continuing our EABL awards, today we have an honour that doesn’t often show up on the stats sheet but is integral to the success of a team. The Defensive Player of the Year award goes to players that show elite ability when it comes to protecting the basket or locking down an opponent’s star man.

Derby Trailblazers Academy’s Charlie Brown has been selected as the Northern Conference recipient after displaying his consistent ability throughout the season.

Pulling down an EABL 6th best 9.4 rebounds per game (7.8 rebounds on defence), grabbing 3.2 steals per game (EABL 5th best) and contributing 1.6 blocks per game (EABL 4th best), Brown’s defensive qualities have shone through and earned him recognition from the rest of the coaches in the North.

“It feels really good to win this award and to gain the recognition from the coaches for my defensive efforts,” said Brown.

“I have worked hard and had the chance to improve and focus heavily on making an impact this year on the defensive end.

“For me it’s been about doing whatever it takes to help the team win, its been a tough year as we were an undersized team meaning I’ve been guarding predominantly forwards and giving up a lot size. Despite this though it hasn’t hindered my ability to step out and guard on the perimeter as well.

“It’s a great way for me personally to end three great years on Trailblazers academy, I’ve enjoyed every minute and it’s been such an enjoyable time with so many great friends as teammates over the three seasons.”

Derby head coach Matt Shaw added: “What a delight it is to see Charlie get this award, his defence has been on another level this season.

“He’s stacked up blocks, steals and rebounds while frequently having to guard bigger players. His perimeter D is also outstanding, we see that weekly in NBL Division One.

“But for the EABL team he’s just done what it takes week after week. He reads the game so well and he has great hands. He’s also willing to put his body of the line.

“He’s the ultimate team player and it’s been a joy working with him.”

In the Southern Conference, the DPOY award went to Barking’s Louis Norton. A runaway winner and popular selection amongst his opponents, Norton’s ability to disrupt any offensive game plan led to an EABL 4th best 3.3 steals per game in the regular season.

With Barking going undefeated this year, Norton’s play has been a big reason why and it’s no surprise that the 5’11” guard is also a top 20 Deng Camp selection for the class of 2020.

The EABL awards continue this afternoon as we look at some of the best performances in the EABL this season and how they rank within the history of the league. Tomorrow morning we’ll then announce Conference All-First and All-Second teams at 10:00am.

The EABL finals take place next Wednesday at the University of Essex, as Norton’s Barking Abbey side look to beat Myerscough College. Entry is free for all spectators, with the ABL and WEABL finals also taking place on the same day.

Louis Norton image courtesy of Deng Camp

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