BiE’s editor takes the ice bucket challenge, nominates Basketball Ireland boss +++ Žydrūnas Ilgauskas considering a comeback? Wow LeBron has power +++ The Dream Team’s children +++ Highlights: Belgium beat Belarus, Germany stay alive +++ EuroBasket 2015: Bosnia, Belgium, Israel, and Latvia lock up spots +++ First Person: Follow the FIBA World Cup through BiE’s eyes +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer: The Final – USA vs France +++ Tight knit Iceland too much for Great Britain +++ EuroBasket 2015: Round-up and Highlights from Wednesday’s qualifiers +++ FIBA dropped a sweet promo for the World Cup +++

Ireland’s MVP, Under 23, and Coach of the year awards announced

The winners of the top individual prizes in Irish basketball have been announced, Emmet Ryan runs through the six big winners from the 2013/14 season.

Men's Premier League Player of the Year Michael Bonaparte (Killester) — at National Basketball Arena, Tallaght.
The men’s premier league MVP award went to Michael Bonaparte of league champions Killester. Bonaparte played a big role in Killester reeling in UCC Demons down the back-end of the season to take the title.
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Basketball Ireland wins inclusion award

BiE is on site in Milano but back at our base in Ireland, there was big news for Basketball Ireland. Emmet Ryan reports.

Basketball Ireland has received the CARA National Inclusion award for its work with people with physical disabilities. The governing body of basketball in Ireland won the National Governing Body award at the ceremony in Limerick. Louise O’Loughlin, senior competitions officer with Basketball Ireland accepted the award.

The CARA National Inclusion Awards recognise excellent practice by organisations and people who contribute to the inclusion of people with disabilities in Sport, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Fitness and Outdoor Activities. The inclusion awards initiative aims to heighten awareness of the inclusion of people with disabilities across all aspects of sport.


BiE in Milano: And the winners are…

It was awards day in Milano and Chacho took the big one. Sergio Rodriguez of Real Madrid was name Euroleague MVP for the 2013/14 season. Rodrigruez and his team mate Rudy Fernandez were named to the team of the season along with Keith Langford of EA7 Milano, Ante Tomic of FC Barcelona, and Sonny Weems of CSKA Moscow.

Langford also took home the Alphonso Ford trophy as Euroleague top scorer while Bogdan Bogdanovic of Partizan was named the Euroleague Rising Star. Sadly we were unable to find out if he planned on starting a buddy cop show with Bojan called Bogdanovic and Bogdanovic. Bryant Dunston won arguably the most hard fought award of the year as he took Defensive PoY honours, having headed into the season with some uncertainty as to his value. Congratulations obviously go to all but we here at BiE are particularly happy for Dunston of Olympiacos who earned his prize against the odds.


BiE’s official Irish awards ballot

BallinEurope editor Emmet Ryan is voting in this year’s Irish Premier League awards. Here’s who BiE is voting for and why.

Men’s MVP – Michael Bonaparte, Killester
This was absolute murder. Bonaparte had 23 ppg, 4th in the league, ranked 10th in rebounds and 9th in blocks for the league champions. Staring him down directly was Lehmon Colbert, the cup final MVP, 20 ppg, ranked 5th in boards and 8th in blocks for UCC Demons. Then there was the real wild-card, Michael Callaghan of Moycullen who led the league in scoring and rebounds. Callaghan was a nasty call as he had fantastic stats, 26 and 11, on the second-worst team in the league. In the end his team’s finishing position played a big role as while he carried the load for Moycullen he also benefitted by not having the same talent around him in terms of dominating the scorekeeper’s book. In the end it came down to literally one game to give Bonaparte the edge on Colbert, it really was that close, as the Killester man shot 64 per cent and scored 24 points in the match-up between the two that decided the league.

Men’s Young Player of the Year – Roy Downey, Bord Gais Neptune
This was a crowded field and Downey arguably stood out the least on initial inspection. He was overshadowed by some of his elders on the Neptune squad but still managed to contribute in multiple ways. Downey had 11 ppg and 3 apg for the season. They were hardly earth-shattering stats but it’s not a young man’s league and he did enough to be the best.

Men’s Coach of the Year – Jonathan Grenell, Killester
You take a middling side from 2012/13 and turn them into league champions in the most dramatic style possible? That really helps when it comes to style points. Still, Colin O’Reilly from Demons had a lot going for him as a candidate here. His side finished second in the league, beat Killester in the semis en route to winning the cup, and beat them again to win the Champions Trophy. The run of Killester to claw back Demons in the league is what eventually made me go with Grenell. Another tough call, I won’t be upset if I’m wrong.
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