Crandall, Whelan & Paternostro win BJA Awards

For the second straight season, Leicester Riders guard Geno Crandall has scooped the Player of the Year in the Basketball Journalists Association’s annual awards for the 2021-22 season.

Crandall averaged 13.1 points and 6.8 assists a game this season, shooting an efficient 50 percent from the floor during the regular season, as he led the Riders to a league and Cup double.

“It’s an honour to be recognised by the British basketball media that cover the game,” Crandall said.

“To be rewarded for the work that I have put in not just throughout the season but also during the off-season where I made commitments to better myself and my game certainly means a lot.”

Manchester Giants’ Tyrik Armstrong finished second in the voting with Riders’ Patrick Whelan, third.

Along with Crandall, Leicester Riders Rob Paternostro also won back-to-back awards as he claimed his second straight Coach of the Year accolade.

Thanks to Paternostro’s leadership, Leicester secured a 25-2 record for the season, achieving a BBL record-winning margin of 16 points between them and second placed Sheffield Sharks.

“It’s been wonderful to work with our team this season,” Paternostro said.

“Their talent, togetherness and commitment has been on display since we came together in August.

“It’s been fun to come to work each day, working with the players and staff that we have assembled here. It’s been awesome.”

Lloyd Gardner, who led Manchester Giants to their first final in 21 years and a first playoff spot since 2014 was second in the voting with Sharks coach Atiba Lyons in third.

Completing a hat-trick of awards for the Riders is Patrick Whelan, as he wins the Pete Jacques Award for Best British Player in the BBL.

One of the leading shooters this season, Whelan shot 47.9 percent from three-point range and 54.2 percent from the field, overall, averaging 15.3 points per game.

“From such a strong pool of British players in this league, I’m extremely blessed and grateful to even be considered for this award, let alone win it,” Whelan said.

Manchester Giants’ Dan Clark was second in the voting with Cheshire Phoenix’s Teddy Okereafor in third.

Karlie Samuelson of Spanish side Perfumerias Avenida won this season’s Syd Lipski International Award for top British performer on the global stage.

The Great Britain international reached the EuroLeague Women Final Four for a second straight season and secured a bronze medal in the process.

Samuelson averaged 7.3 points as well as shooting 48 percent from three-point range in Europe’s premier competition with season-high performances of 17 points on two occasions in the regular season.

Temi Fagbenle, who reached the EuroCup Women semi-finals with CBK Mersin, was second in the voting with Myles Hesson of Japanese league side, Saga Ballooners, third.