The 2016 Halls Woollacott Awards were held yesterday (Sunday, 4 September) at Morphettville Racecourse.

Hosted this year by former basketball superstar, Brett Maher, the annual event celebrates the achievements of players, coaches and officials throughout the Premier League season and boasts a proud history dating back to the 1960’s.

The Premier League is the pinnacle competition run in this state outside of the NBL and WNBL. It is the competition that our juniors strive to play in, and it is the pathway that many great South Australian players, coaches and officials have starred in on their way to success in the national leagues and for our national teams.

The awards are calculated at the conclusion of the Premier League minor rounds based on a vote system, as well as statistical awards presented in both the men’s and women’s leagues.

Basketball SA would like to congratulate the 2016 Halls Medal winner, Olivia Thompson from Forestville Eagles Basketball Club and 2016 Woollacott Medal winner, Nelson Kirksey from Woodville Warriors Basketball Club, acknowledging them as the best and fairest players in the 2016 Premier League season.

The medals are determined based on a game-by-game 3-2-1 referee voting system, along with a number of other awards highlighting individual performances of the 2016 season.

Olivia Thompson received 50 votes to win the Halls, ahead of Southern Tigers’ Mollie McKendrick on 43. Thompson polled 13 first preference votes, 5 second preference votes and 1 third preference vote, while McKendrick polled 12 first preference, 3 second preference and 1 third preference. Mollie also didn’t poll in five games throughout the season.

Nelson Kirksey battled it out with Mitch Creek from Southern Tigers for the Woollacott, finishing with 50 votes ahead of Creek’s 45. Kirksey polled 12 first preference votes, 6 second preference votes and 2 first preference votes, while Creek polled 11 first preference, 5 second preference and 2 third preference votes. Mitch missed two games throughout the season, which was one of the key factors that saw him miss out on the Medal.

Olivia Thompson also won the league’s Most Valuable Player Award, voted by coaches and made it into the All Star Five as the Centre. West Adelaide’s Tahlia Fejo (Point Guard), Norwood’s Jess Good (Shooting Guard), Woodville’s Tavarsha Scott (Small Forward) and Southern’s Mollie McKendrick (Power Forward) also made it into the All Star Five line up.

The women’s Best Defensive Player Award was a tie between West Adelaide’s Ashlea Vordermaier and North Adelaide’s Sarah Elsworthy.

In the men’s league, Mitch Creek took home the MVP award, Best Defensive Player Award and made it into the All Star Five as the Power Forward. Forestville’s Adam Doyle (Point Guard), Woodville’s Nelson Kirksey (Shooting Guard), Norwood’s Matthew Lycett (Small Forward) and Southern’s Alex Starling (Centre) made up the rest of the All Star Five.

The Merv Harris and Frank Angove Awards for the Best and Fairest players under 21 went to West Adelaide’s Tahlia Fejo and Sturt’s Isaac White.

West Adelaide’s Tim Brenton won the Coach of the Year Award for the women’s league, while Sturt’s Paul Rigoni won the men’s award.

Andrew Filmer took out the Phill Yuill Memorial Referee of the Year award for the women’s league and the men’s league winner was Nathan Durant.

Congratulations are also in order for the men’s Grand Finalists, Southern Tigers and Sturt Sabres and the women’s Grand Finalists, Norwood Flames and West Adelaide Bearcats and we wish them all the best in their matches this weekend.

To find out more about the 2016 Premier League Grand Final or to purchase tickets, click here.

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