In 2012 SEABL will again recognise high performing players and coaches with Player and Coach of the Month awards to be handed out throughout the year.
The first recipients are unsurprisingly drawn from the most dominant teams to date, with Jamie O’Loughlin (Geelong) taking out the men’s Coach of the Month, and O’Loughlin’s star import Kimmani Barrett winning Player of the Month. For the women, Cheryl Chambers (Knox) takes out Coach of the Month, while Lindsay Laur (Hobart) is a worthy Player of the Month.
A string of stellar performances that propelled Geelong to the top of the table has seen the Supercats’ Kimmani Barrett establish himself as an early star of the league. The Jamaican/American import has been the catalyst for his team’s perfect record this month, shining all over the court with excellent statistics across the board. The first year import averaged 24.3 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, but it was his clean skills and efficiency that saw him finish with an outstanding field goal percentage of 58.2% over the course of March.
The Supercats’ unbeaten start made Jamie O’Loughlin something of a no-brainer as Coach of the Month. O’Loughlin, now in the third year of his tenure, steered Geelong past defending SEABL Champions Nunawading in round 1, and Hobart in round 2, before a quirk of the fixture meant the Supercats faced the tricky assignment of negotiating an away trip and a home game on consecutive days. This they duly did, fighting their way past Mt Gambier at the Icehouse last Friday, and Sandringham back at the Geelong Arena on Saturday.
On the female side of the ledger, the Knox Raiders have been the women’s answer to the Supercats, sweeping all before them on route to a perfect 3-0 record. Veteran coach Cheryl Chambers, returning from a brief self-imposed coaching timeout after departing Kilsyth at the end of 2011, has fallen back into the hot seat as if she had never left. An opening round triumph over defending SEABL Champions Dandenong was followed by a confidence-building away win in Canberra, before Knox did it easy last weekend against her former team and arch-rival Kilsyth to complete a flawless month.
While Knox scales the top of the SEABL table, down in Tasmania the Lady Chargers have had a slightly more mixed time of things, getting some decent results but struggling to find consistency. Lindsay Laur, however, has proven a lynchpin for the Chargers since landing in Hobart prior to the start of the season. The talented forward racked up an impressive 34 defensive rebounds, to go with 12 offensive rebounds, for an average of 11.5 rebounds a game, third overall in the league. She also contributed 19.3 points a game, and has a 100% free throw percentage so far this year.
SEABL would like to congratulate all the players and coaches for their awards, and wishes them continued success for the months ahead.