National League

Apr 11 2023

National League ‘Player and Coach of the Year’ awards announced for the 2022/23 season

Basketball Ireland are pleased to announce the ‘Player and Coach of the Year’ awards for the 2022/23 season. The monthly award winners for 'Player and Coach of The Month' for March have also been confirmed at the bottom of this page. 

There’s a double success for UCC Demons in recognition of their magnificent return to the Super League, with MJ Randolph and James Hannigan scooping the ‘Player’ and ‘Young Player of the Year’ categories. Randolph Jr. averaged 30.8 points per game, shooting 83% from the free-throw line as the Cork side reached the last four. Hannigan was also a significant contributor for Daniel O’Mahony’s outfit, featuring in 20 games including a season high 18 point performance in their defeat to eventual champions Emporium Cork Basketball in the playoffs.

MJ Randolph of UCC Demons won the Super League 'Player of the Year'

The Super League ‘Coach of the Year’ also goes to Cork, as the man who led Emporium Cork Basketball to their first league title, Ciaran O’Sullivan takes the honours. The player/coach led his team to a 12-7 record in the regular season, before wins against North Conference champions DBS Éanna, South Conference runners-up UCC Demons and winners University of Galway Maree in the playoffs brought a championship to Ballincollig. They also reached the final four of the National Cup. O’Sullivan checked into 19 games during the campaign averaging 6.3 points per game.  

Double winners Ulster University unsurprisingly dominate the Division 1 honours. Conor O’Sullivan is named ‘Player of the Year’, having been a lynchpin in both their promotion campaign and an Presidents’ Cup win. O’Sullivan was an ever present, scoring 500 points during the league campaign alone on an average of 22.7ppg. He capped the year off in style with a 28 point display in the Division 1 win over Limerick Sport Eagles which featured four crucial three-point shots. Diego O’Herlihy of Dwyers of Cork Fr.Mathews has been awarded ‘Young Player of the Year’. He was among the standout performers in an 11-8 team that fell to Malahide at the quarter-final stage in the playoffs. O’Herlihy averaged 13.8ppg in 20 games this season, making a total of 46 threes and shooting 75% from the line. 

Ryan McCormick takes the coaching honours for Ulster University. UU finished the regular season with an 11-8 record and a third placed finish in the North Conference. They defeated Limerick Celtics and Malahide en-route to the Division 1 playoff final, where they overcame Limerick Sport Eagles in a thriller in overtime. They previously captured the Presidents’ Cup in January with a three point win against Moy Tolka Rovers.

Ulster University head coach Ryan McCormick scooped the Division 1 Coach of the Year. 

The Super League winners have a familiar feel with Mark Scannell (Coach of the Year) and Sarah Hickey (Young Player of the Year) making it back to back success in their respective categories. Brittany Byrd of The Address UCC Glanmire is named Super League Player of The Year following a double winning season in which she took responsibility for many of the key shots in big moments. Byrd lead the league in points scored (514) and points per game (25.7) and picked up the MVP award in their Champions Trophy victory against DCU Mercy on TG4, scoring 33 points in the process. Irish international Sarah Hickey was the focal point of a successful Waterford Wildcats programme at stages during the season, averaging 17.6 points per game and being a very effective rebounding presence on both ends of the floor.

The aforementioned Mark Scannell picks up his second Super League ‘Coach of the Year’ award in a row, having led The Address. UCC Glanmire to an impressive 16-2 record in league play. They also retained the Champions Trophy dispatching an in form Waterford Wildcats by 27 points and the team who finished runners-up during the regular season, DCU Mercy by 11 points in the decider.

Brittany Byrd celebrates after securing the Champions Trophy for The Address UCC Glanmire. 

Three teams are represented in the Division 1 honours. Alyssa Velles of Portlaoise Panthers is the ‘Player of the Year’. Velles finished second in the league in scoring (507 points), shot an impressive 78% from the free-throw line and created a potent one-two punch with Jessica Fressle that culminated in a Division 1 title for the club. The ‘Young Player of the Year’ gong goes to Ciara Tolan of McEvoy’s Cavan Eagles. The teenager featured in 20 games for the 16-2 North Conference winners. Tolan averaged 9.3 points per game in 28 minutes per game during the season, coming up with some crucial rebounds in the process.

Alyssa Velles shoots a free throw during the Women's National League Trophy Final at the National Basketball Arena. 

Breda Dick is given the nod as Division 1 ‘Coach of the Year’, guiding Phoenix Rockets to a 13-5 record in the regular season (2nd in the North Conference) as well as Women’s Division 1 National Cup runners-up and a League Trophy win against Portlaoise Panthers.

National League Award Winners Men’s Super League:

Player of the Year – MJ Randolph (UCC Demons)

Young Player of the Year – James Hannigan (UCC Demons)

Coach of the Year – Ciaran O’Sullivan (Emporium Cork Basketball) Men’s Division 1:

Player of the Year – Conor O’Sullivan (Ulster University)

Young Player of the Year – Diego O’Herlihy (Dwyers of Cork Fr.Mathews)

Coach of the Year – Ryan McCormick (Ulster University) Women’s Super League:  

Player of the Year – Brittany Byrd (The Address UCC Glanmire)

Young Player of the Year – Sarah Hickey (Waterford Wildcats)

Coach of the Year – Mark Scannell (The Address UCC Glanmire) Women’s Division 1: 

Player of the Year – Alyssa Velles (Portlaoise Panthers)

Young Player of the Year – Ciara Tolan (McEvoy’s Cavan Eagles)

Coach of the Year – Breda Dick (Phoenix Rockets)

National League Monthly award winners for March: Men’s Super League:

Player: 1st John Dawson (Emporium Cork Basketball); 2nd Jose Jimenez Gonzales (Emporium Cork Basketball); 3rd Crishon Briggs (Belfast Star)

Coach: Ciaran O’Sullivan (Emporium Cork Basketball) Women’s Super League:  

Player: 1st Brittany Byrd (The Address UCC Glanmire); 2nd Lindsey Abed (DCU Mercy); Kharica Rasheed (The Address UCC Glanmire)

Coach: Mark Scannell (The Address UCC Glanmire) Men’s Division 1:

Player: 1st Conor O’Sullivan (Ulster University); 2nd Nate Shafer (Ulster University); 3rd Brendan Barry (Limerick Sport Eagles)

Coach: Ryan McCormick (Ulster University) Women’s Division 1: 

Player: 1st Jessica Fairweather (Phoenix Rockets); 2nd Fatimaah Amen-Ra (Moy Tolka Rovers); 3rd Jessica Fressle (Portlaoise Panthers)

Coach: Breda Dick (Phoenix Rockets)