THERE were plenty of Cork recipients in the Basketball Ireland annual awards that will be presented in Dublin on May 14.
It proved to be a memorable season for The Address UCC Glanmire as they completed the Grand Slam and coach Mark Scannell rightfully scooped coach of the year in the Women’s Super League.
Glanmire managed a Super League, National Cup and Champions Trophy treble as Scannell’s side looked a different class to their opponents. For Scannell, it was all about his players’ dedication and skillsets.
“It was all about my players' will to win and it all starts on the training court having full squads with good sessions that helps build the structures for game time,” he said.
Claire Melia was awarded player of the year in the Women’s Super League as her performances were simply sensational. Tralee Warriors American Aaron Calixte deservedly took the Men’s Super League player of the year, with coach John Dowling guiding his team to the elusive double.
There was joy for Cian Heaphy of C&S Neptune, whose dazzling displays earned him Super League young player of the year.
In the Men’s Division 1 National League, UCC Demons coach Danny O’Mahony was a deserving winner after leading his team to a league title and National Cup double.
O’Mahony was naturally elated with his award.
“It was a good way to end the season but I am only accepting it on behalf of an outstanding squad,” said O’Mahony.
After four games, Demons axed American Andre Kennedy and replaced him with Danish star Toby Christensen. The call from O’Mahony was the right one as Christensen ended up the MVP of the division.
“Sometimes you have to make decisions for the good of the team and thankfully we got it right as Toby played some serious ball for us,” he said.
Tala Thiam Fam has made great strides since he joined Demons and was named Division 1 young player of the year for his outstanding displays.