The Newcastle Eagles have had an incredible season so far, sweeping 3 out of the 4 potential trophies, with the fourth still left to play for as they battle their way through the BBL playoffs. More good news has come their way this week as Fab Flournoy was named Molten Coach of the Year, and guard Joe Chapman was named the Molten BBL MVP for the 2011-12 season.
Fab Flournoy is considered to be the most successful player-coach in BBL history, and is second in the all-time coaching honours, just behind Kevin Cadle. This is the fourth time that Flournoy has won the Coach of the Year award, having previously been recognised in 2005, 2006 and 2010.
Flournoy joined the Eagles in 2001, and took over the coaching job there in 2002. Between now and then, he has lead the team to 18 trophy wins, making them the most successful team in BBL history.
As well as the team having the Coach of the Year, they also have the league MVP in guard, Joe Chapman.
Chapman has had a remarkable season after battling back from a ruptured Achilles tendon at the end of last season. Chapman has gone from worries that his career might be over, to averaging 20.2 points a game, to go with 3.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 34.7 minutes per game this season.
He's well known for this 3-point prowess, having shot 39 percent from behind the arc, and scoring more 3-pointers per game than anyone else in the league, although he did finish second for total 3-pointers for the season.
The award for MVP is chosen by the 11 BBL coaches. Each picks 3 players that they would put forward for the award and give them 3 points, 2 points or 1 points depending on their preference for the final winner. Chapman won with 17 points. Leicester Riders forward Ayron Hardy came second with 12 points, Richie Gordon of the Worcester Wolves had 10 points and Charles Smith, also of the Eagles, had 6 points.
Managing Director of the Eagles, Paul Blake has been quoted as saying “It's fantastic news for both Fab and Joe to receive these awards. They are both hard working guys and had a long road back to recovery over the summer. I know it will mean that bit more to them both because of that. From a club perspective it just goes further to cap off what has been a momentous season for the club. I am certain they will both tell you it’s not over yet and they are desperate to make it four trophies this season.”