National League

National League
Mar 03 2023

Basketball Ireland Player and Coach of The Month awards announced for February

The National League 'Player' and 'Coach' of The Month awards have been decided for February, with five first time winners among the ballots. 

UCC Demons have established themselves as the hottest Super League team in recent months, going unbeaten in 2023 on a run that has extended to nine games. It's no surprise that they pick up both the 'Player' and 'Coach of The Month' award in the shape of MJ Randolph and Danny O'Mahony. Randolph has been a force of nature in his eight games with Demons to date, averaging 31points-per-game, shooting a deadly accurate 79.7% from the line. He beat out competition from Matija Jokic of Garvey's Tralee Warriors and Ridrigo Gomez of University of Galway Maree in a very tight voting month. 

O'Mahony has quietly turned the corner with this team after taking them up from Division 1 last season. Their current fantastic unbeaten run coming off the back of a disappointing loss to Moycullen in the final game prior to the Christmas break. They look to be right in the shake up heading into the post season. 

The Address UCC Glanmire dominate the Super League awards. Claire O'Sullivan takes home her first Golden Ball of the campaign after an explosive month, where she showed all of her experience in some very important moments as the Cork team secured back-to-back regular season titles. O'Sullivan is another who is very potent from the free-throw line, averaging 82.1% in her 15 games this season.  She fought off competition from her team-mate and the second highest scorer in the Super League Brittany Byrd for the award, while Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics Sorcha Tiernan is recognised in a red hot month of three-point shooting for the Irish international by finishing in third-place in the voting.

Unsurprisingly it is Mark Scannell who is named 'Coach of The Month.' Scannell has steered the team to just two defeats all season in league and cup play and ensured The Address UCC Glanmire didn't suffer a hangover from a famous treble a year ago. 

Trevor Recio has been outstanding all season for Malahide in the Division 1. Recio has amassed 449 points through 17 games, second only to third place finisher this month, Joshua Reynolds of Limerick Celtics. His form has seen Malahide move to second in the Conference North standings with a couple of games remaining in the regular season, including a 5-1 record in the last month. Brendan Barry of Limerick Sport Eagles makes his first appearence on the Player of The Month list, recording a second place finish with voters. Barry has 28.ppg in five games for the Eagles as they battle it out with cross town rivals Limerick Celtics for supremacy in the Southern Conference.

Niall McDermott of Team North West is named Coach of The Month by his peers, that's after he led the Donegal side to a 3-1 record in February to take the team to 7-9 overall on the year. 

Sofia Paska has established herself as one of the most efficient players in the country for St. Pauls Killarney, earning Player of The Month honours in the Division 1 as a result. The Kerry team went 3-2 during the month, with Paska a big part of what they do on both ends of the floor. She's currently 4th in the league in scoring, averaging 21.7ppg to date.  Previous winner Alyssa Velles continued her fine season for Portlaoise Panthers, finishing in second place in the voting with Alarie Mayze of the Division 1 Northern Conference winner McEvoy's Cavan Eagles coming third.  Coaching honours for the month are going to Virginia though. Dave Baker takes the plaudits for his achievements with the debut National League team. 

Results of February Player and Coach of the Month awards:

Men's Super League

1st MJ Randolph (UCC Demons) / 2nd Matija Jokic (Garvey's Tralee Warriors) / 3rd Rodrigo Gomez (University of Galway Maree)

Coach: Danny O’Mahony (UCC Demons)

Women's Super League

1st Claire O’Sullivan (The Address UCC Glanmire) / 2nd Brittany Byrd (The Address UCC Glanmire) / 3rd Sorcha Tiernan (Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics)

Coach: Mark Scannell (The Address UCC Glanmire)

Men's Division 1

1st Trevor Recio (Malahide / 2nd Brendan Barry (Limerick Sport Eagles) / 3rd Joshua Reynolds (Limerick Celtics)

Coach: Niall McDermott (Team North West) 

Women's Division 1

1st Sofia Paska (St Pauls Killarney) / 2nd Alyssa Velles (Portlaoise Panthers) / 3rd Alarie Mayze (McEvoy's Cavan Eagles)

Coach: Dave Baker (McEvoy's Cavan Eagles)