Whilst the Yanks were busy heaping praise on a British pop singer at the 59th Grammy Awards ceremony, the same sort of thing was happening in Melbourne to the Adelaide 36ers, quite deservedly so, as they hauled in the major NBL awards on Monday night.
Point guard Jerome Randle took home the 2016 – 2017 MVP award, leaving a Winx-like margin betwixt he and his closest competitor. He averaged 21 points and more than five assists per game during the season.
Accolades were not in short supply for the team that prevailed in the most evenly balanced regular season in recent or distant memory in the NBL. Nathan Sobey won the Most Improved Player award, and we should be forgiven if we compare this to the Participation awards that seem increasingly to be handed out to protect our youth’s fragile self-esteem from the ravages of the joy of victory and the agony of defeat, but getting acknowledged for improving above all others in a league stocked with talent is indeed a real accomplishment.
36ers Coach Joey Wright was declared the Coach of the Year and Anthony Drmic received the coveted Rookie of the Year award.
Randle was 36 MVP votes clear of Perth Wildcats shooting guard/small-forward Casey Prather.