CHAPMAN HEADS EAGLES AWARD SWEEP

Newcastle Eagles’ guard Joe Chapman has become the first two-time winner of the Player of the Year award after leading the Tyneside club to the cusp of a clean sweep of all four domestic trophies.

The 27-year-old American, who averaged 20.2 points per game after bouncing back from injury, received the most votes in the Basketball Journalists Association’s annual ballot of writers and broadcasters who cover the British Basketball League.

Chapman edged Leicester’s Ayron Hardy into second place with his Riders team-mate Cameron Rundles in third.

Newcastle monopolised all three BJA prizes with centre Andy Thomson winning the Pete Jacques Award for BBL British Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Thomson, who claimed the prize last term while with Mersey Tigers, averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds in a pivotal role in the Eagles’ league, Cup and Trophy wins.

Great Britain captain Drew Sullivan of Leicester Riders was runner-up with Plymouth Raiders forward Anthony Rowe in third.

And there was more success for Newcastle with player-coach Fab Flournoy taking Coach of the Year for the second time in three years. The New Yorker received almost three times as many votes as second-placed Rob Paternostro of Leicester, his adversary in this Saturday’s BBL play-off final in Birmingham.

Paul James of Worcester Wolves came third in the coaching race.

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