2021/22 EABL Awards – Individual honours announced

Following yesterday’s release of the EABL All-Conference First and Second Teams, individual players and coaches have now been honoured from across the league.

Selected by the teams themselves, programmes were able to nominate their own players for respective awards to draw up an initial shortlist, which was then voted on to finalise this year’s winners.


Myerscough’s Bryan Akanmu scoops the big award in the North after helping his side to second place during the regular season and an eventual berth in tomorrow’s EABL playoff final.

Notching an EABL fourth best 19.4PPG and third best 23.3 efficiency, Akanmu has also stepped up in the big spots, including his 39-point outing earlier this month to hand conference winner Charnwood their only defeat of the season to date.

In the South, Oaklands Kane Daley is the conference’s MVP after a strong 2021/22 campaign.

Averaging 19.2PPG and 9.4RPG, the young guard was in top form as the Wolves sealed a first ever conference title behind a 10-2 record.

Upon winning the award, Daley said: “I feel we started the season as a very underrated team and were considered underdogs in every game we played.

“As our chemistry grew and our improvements started to show, we could see the respect growing too. It was an honour to captain this program, to see how we banded together and used all the challenges we experienced to put a great season together.

“I’m incredibly proud of the team’s achievements and honoured to receive this award from the coaches around the EABL.

“I go into every game with aim of supporting my teammates with whatever they and the coaches need that day. I’m thankful for the trust and opportunity to show my personal growth and performance level at this season.”

Coach of the Year

SGS’ Chris Bourne is Coach of the Year in the North after being singled out for recognition by his fellow peers.

Bourne’s side went 5-9 across the campaign, with the former BBL man overseeing the growth of players like All-Conference First Team selection Jason Soodeen.

It’s a double dip for Oaklands, coupling the MVP award with a Coach of the Year nod for Lee Ryan.

The Wolves’ head man masterminded his side’s rise to the top of the South standings and a 10-2 record, with Daley and Oliver Wright making the All-Conference 1st team and Talles Zacharias earning a 2nd team spot.

Earning the programme’s first ever conference title was clearly enough to wow follow coaches, earning Ryan this year’s honour.

Defensive Player of the Year

There were two worthy winners this year, with Charnwood’s Kanu Gudza scooping the award in the North and CoLA’s Clemson Edomwonyin coming out on top in the South

Gudza led the EABL with 4.4 steals per game, also converting his DPOY award into a spot in the North’s All-Conference 1st team.

CoLA went 3-9 in the South but Edomwonyin’s efforts were clear for all to see.

The 6’8″ 1st year forward pulled down a team-high 4.3 defensive boards per game (6.2RPG total), whilst also patrolling the paint to block an EABL fifth best 1.1 shots per game.

Most Improved Player

Another regular-season award goes to Charnwood, with Ceejay Hanson being named the North’s MIP, whilst Itchen guard Max Matthews has been picked from the South.

Matthews took significant strides across the season to improve his all round game, helping Itchen to the #3 seed and closing the season with stats of 10.8PPG, 4.3RPG, 2.8SPG and 2.7APG.

Hanson was a useful cog in the Charnwood machine as they sealed top spot, with the 3rd year wing enjoying 8.7PPG, 5.6RPG and 3.5APG across 11 games.

U17 Player of the Year

Awarded to the best Year 12 players from across the league, the EABL coaches liked JMA guard Isaac Round and Sheffield’s Declan Kom for this year’s selections.

1st year guard Round didn’t let a lack of EABL experience hold him back during his debut campaign, finishing with a league second best 21.1PPG.

Likewise, Sheffield’s rookie guard also got his EABL career off to a hot start, with 9.6PPG, 4.9RPG and 0.8SPG helping the South Yorkshire programme to a strong fourth place finish in the North.

The EABL playoff final between Charnwood College Riders and Myerscough College will take place at Manchester’s National Basketball Performance Centre tomorrow, with a 5pm tip.

The event is free to enter but fans are required to make sure they have a ticket for capacity reasons.

Tickets can be purchased by clicking HERE

The game will also be live on the Basketball England YouTube channel, which can be viewed by clicking HERE.

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