Kirk Penney takes Player of Month honour
NZ Breaker's superstar guard Kirk Penney and Wollongong Hawk's head coach Gordie McLeod have been named the National Basketball League's Player and Coach of the Month respectively for January/February.
Penney left rivals in his wake this month polling 37 votes to take out the award. The closest anyone came to the Breaker's guard was Julius Hodge from the Melbourne Tigers with 14 votes, followed by Adam Gibson from Gold Coast Blaze with 8.
Over New Zealand's nine games in the month of January/ February, Penney averaged 24.9 points per game, shooting the ball at a sweltering 44.4% from the field. Penney also averaged 2.6 assists and 5.9 rebounds.
A highlight of Penney's incredible two months was his performance against the Cairns Taipains on February 13th where he had 23 points, six rebounds and one assist. Penney was instrumental on the Breakers' late challenge for a playoff berth and their season-ending six-game win streak.
The Hawks' Gordie McLeod is considered a hot contender for Coach of the Year honours after helping lead his team to the 2010 NBL Grand Final series, and his efforts in January and February were outstanding.
He finished a step ahead of the rest of his fellow coaches by scoring 30 votes, with New Zealand's Andrej Lemanis seven votes behind with 23. Rob Beveridge from the Perth Wildcats, his opponent in the upcoming Grand Final series which tips-off Friday, was third with 18 votes.
McLeod had his troops firing on all cylinders in January and February. After recording a 6-3 record between rounds 15 and 20, McLeod helped his team to a surprise second-placed finish on the ladder despite losing dynamic import Tywain McKee to a season-ending back injury.
During January/February McLeod guided his team to wins against, Townsville, Gold Coast, New Zealand, Melbourne, and Adelaide.
The NBL's Player and Coach of the Month for January/February took into account Rounds 15 to 20 inclusive. All NBL Head Coaches and accredited media were eligible to vote for the awards.
NBL Player of the Month - January/February 2010
Kirk Penney (NZ Breakers) 37, Julius Hodge (Melbourne) 14, Adam Gibson (Gold Coast) 8, Mark Worthington (Melbourne) 7, Shawn Redhage (Perth) 6, Cameron Tragardh (Wollongong) 4, CJ Bruton (NZ Breakers) 1.
NBL Coach of the Month - January/February 2010
Gordie McLeod (Wollongong) 30, Andrej Lemanis (NZ Breakers) 23, Rob Beveridge (Perth) 18, Al Westover (Melbourne) 7, Trevor Gleeson (Townsville) 1.