Photo credit: Roshysportfolio

Auckland Tuatara centre Rob Loe has been named Most Valuable Player for the 2023 season, leading the Tuatara to a league-best 13-5 record.

The 31-year-old kiwi posted averages of 20.8 PTS, 11.5 REB, 4.1 AST, 1.9 STL & 2.1 BLK on 57.8% shooting from the field and 41.4% from three in 17 games this season.

Loe was also named Defensive Player of the Year, anchoring a team defence that allowed the least points per game (85.4, tied for 1st) in the league. Loe finished first in blocks, first in rebounding and fifth in steals.

Add in Most Outstanding Forward (Commissioners Cup), Most Outstanding NZ Forward (Stan Hill Trophy), and the All-Star Five to top off an incredible season for the 6-foot-10 Loe.

The awards didn’t end there for the Tuatara. Forward Charlie Dalton collected Most Improved Player for his stellar season. The former Rosmini College star compiled averages of 9.6 PTS & 4.7 REB on 47.7% shooting from the floor, appearing in all 18 games for the Tuatara.

Those averages are up from 2.1 PTS & 1.0 REB in 2022 for Dalton, an impressive incline on a team loaded with veteran talent.

Walter Brown of the Rams was named 2023 Youth Player of the Year, averaging 9.4 PTS on 47.1% shooting. Off the back of earning a developmental contract with the Tasmania JackJumpers in the ANBL, Brown entered the 2023 season full of confidence and showed fans the leap he has made.

The 20-year-old forward is oozing potential and has captured the eye of Tall Blacks coach Pero Cameron, being named to the 21-man World Cup squad after making his debut for New Zealand earlier this year.

Joining Rob Loe in the 2023 All-Star Five is Jeremy Kendle (Sharks), Jarrad Weeks (Tuatara), Tevin Brown (Rams) and Todd Withers (Nuggets).

Despite his team missing out on the Final 6, American guard Jeremy Kendle turned in a monster season for the Sharks. Kendle led the league in scoring and assists, an incredible feat for the 35-year-old.

Another player with an endless motor, Jarrad Weeks was phenomenal for the Tuatara. The 34-year-old Weeks announced his retirement from basketball this year but showed he’s still got plenty left in the tank with his averages of 20.1 PTS, 5.6 REB, 5.6 AST & 1.3 STL in 18 games.

The 2023 Coach of the Year will be announced tonight on Sky Sport’s Hoop Heads at 8pm, featuring an exclusive interview with the winning coach.

The awards panel consisted of the 10 Sal’s NBL coaches and five independents – Justin Nelson, Casey Frank, Andrew Mulligan, Taylah Johnson and Brendon Egan.

Full List of Award Winners:

MVP - Rob Loe (Tuatara)
Defensive Player of the Year - Rob Loe (Tuatara)
Youth Player of the Year - Walter Brown (Rams)
Most Improved Player - Charlie Dalton (Tuatara)
All Star Five - Jeremy Kendle (Sharks), Jarrad Weeks (Tuatara), Tevin Brown (Rams), Todd Withers (Nuggets), Rob Loe (Tuatara)
Steve McKean Coach of the Year – To be Announced on Hoop Heads

Historic Awards

Most Outstanding Guard (Keith Carr Trophy) - Jarrad Weeks (Tuatara)
Most Outstanding NZ Guard (John Macdonald Trophy) - Derone Raukawa (Hawks)
Most Outstanding Forward (Commissioners Cup) - Rob Loe (Tuatara)
Most Outstanding NZ Forward/Centre (Stan Hill Trophy) - Rob Loe (Tuatara)
Scoring Champion (Alan Bland Memorial Trophy) - Jeremy Kendle (Sharks)
Rebounding Champion (Garry Pettis Memorial Trophy) - Rob Loe (Tuatara)
Assist Champion (Dave Taylor Trophy) - Jeremy Kendle (Sharks)
Best Team Free Throws (Nial Forsyth Trophy) - Manawatu Jets

Club Awards

Team GM of the Year - Angela Ruske (Otago Nuggets)
Club of the Year - Otago Nuggets
Best Game Presentation – Wellington Saints
Best Fan Engagement – Manawatu Jets
Best Social Media – Nelson Giants

Officials Awards

Referee of the Year - Callum Welch


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