Dion Prewster Tops The 2021 Sal’s NBL Awards

The Sal's NBL Official News Partner, Stuff, has revealed the award winners for the 2021 season.

See the full article HERE

Wellington Saints star Dion Prewster has won the Stuff MVP award as the best player in the Sal's National Basketball League for season 2021.

The 31-year-old Tall Blacks guard also scooped the defensive player of the year award in the league’s 40th season.

Prewster - who has played in the Australian NBL for the Breakers and the Sydney Kings - was named in the All Star Five with his Saints teammate Taane Samuel, the Otago Nuggets' Breakers recruit Sam Timmins, Southland Sharks forward Dom Kelman-Poto and the Nelson Giants' electric American guard Hunter Hale.

He also received the Keith Carr Trophy for most outstanding guard and the John Macdonald Trophy for the most outstanding New Zealand guard.

Prewster took a break in 2020 after the Covid-19 lockdown and hit the 2021 NBL season looking fit and refreshed.

He has been a revelation in Saints' 16-2 charge to the top of the regular season standings.


Saints' Dion Prewster drives around the Hawks' Rhys Vague.

Timmins, 24, was the other big winner in the NBL prize list with four awards and an All Star Five selection.

Sam Timmins has been stuffing the statsheet for the Otago Nuggets in the Sal's NBL in 2021.

The former University of Washington power forward/centre picked up the most improved player award and the rebounds per game prize with a 13.9rpg average.

He also collected the Commissioners Cup for the most outstanding forward or centre and the Stan Hill Trophy - named after a Tall Blacks great - for the most outstanding New Zealand forward or centre.


American guard Hunter Hale during a 41-point haul for the Nelson Giants against the Hawke’s Bay Hawks.

In the statistical section, Hale was the points per game leader with 26.9ppg, while the Southland Sharks' American point guard Courtney Belger was the assists per game leader with 5.7apg.


Outstanding schoolboy Zach Riley has the US colleges lining up to bring him on board for next year.

In other awards, Zico Coronel (Saints) won coach of the year, and Zach Riley, the Auckland Huskie's just-turned 18-year-old shooting guard, was youth player of the year.

“These awards reflect the best of the best through the season, an outstanding achievement by every recipient and no doubt I speak on behalf of all the fans when I say congratulations and thank you for entertaining us,'' NBL general manager Justin Nelson said.

“Being our fortieth season and thinking back on the star players who have won these same awards since 1982, it is particularly pleasing to see so many homegrown Kiwis winning awards this year, including Dion claiming the Stuff MVP award.”

The awards panel consisted of all 10 head coaches, plus Nelson, media representative Huw Beynon and former international players Megan Compain, Dillon Boucher and Casey Frank.


Sal's NBL Awards

Stuff MVP – Dion Prewster (Wellington Saints).

Coach of the Year – Zico Coronel (Wellington Saints).

Defensive Player of the Year – Dion Prewster (Wellington Saints).

Most Improved Player – Sam Timmins (Otago Nuggets).

Youth Player of the Year – Zach Riley (Auckland Huskies).

All Star 5 – Dion Prewster (Wellington Saints), Hunter Hale (Nelson Giants), Dom Kelman-Poto (Southland Sharks), Taane Samuel (Wellington Saints), Sam Timmins (Otago Nuggets).


Statistical Awards

Points per game leader – Hunter Hale 26.9ppg.

Rebounds per game leader – Sam Timmins 13.9rpg.

Assists per game leader – Courtney Belger  5.7apg.


Historical Awards

Most Outstanding Guard (Keith Carr Trophy) – Dion Prewster.

Most Outstanding NZ Guard (John Macdonald Trophy) – Dion Prewster.

Most Outstanding Forward/Centre (Commissioners Cup) – Sam Timmins.

Most Outstanding NZ Forward/Centre (Stan Hill Trophy) – Sam Timmins.

General Manager of the Year – Jordan Mills (Wellington Saints)

Club of the Year – Otago Nuggets.

Best Game Presentation- Southland Sharks.

Best Fan Engagement Manawatu Jets.

Best Social Media Canterbury Rams.


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