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The Molten BBL British Team of the Year

The BBL awards season opens with the announcement of the Molten BBL British Team of the Year, as voted by BBL Head Coaches, with the voting led by the leading scorer from the league-champion Leicester Riders, in a team that also includes a pair of record-holding Great Britain internationals.

Patrick Whelan – Leicester Riders

The only unanimous selection in the team, Patrick Whelan was Leicester’s leading scorer as they cruised to a sixth BBL Championship title with a 25-2 record, already completing a double by winning the BBL Cup. Playing his first season in the league after a college career in the USA and three years playing for Real Murcia in Spain, the 25-year-old has made an instant impact, averaging 15 points, four rebounds and three assists in league play. He has proven to be a marksman as the second-leading three-point shooter in the BBL with a sensational accuracy of 48%, and is ninth in overall field goal percentage at 54%. He had a season-high of 25 points on three occasions, most significantly in the BBL Cup semi-final against London Lions where he shot 6-7 (86%) from long range.

Dan Clark – Manchester Giants

Playing his first season in the BBL after previously making his career in the formidable Spanish ACB, Great Britain’s captain and all-time leading points scorer returned to these shores to lead Manchester Giants to the BBL Cup Final and a first Play-off berth since 2014 In the BBL Championship, Giants finished fifth with Clark averaging 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists, as the best passing big man in the BBL, while leading the league in defensive rebounds with six per game, and being second overall in blocked shots at 1.4 per contest. He had perhaps his best game to open his BBL career, with a double-double of 25 points and 10 boards as Giants beat Cheshire Phoenix in a North West derby, in what was the best debut for any Manchester player since they returned to the top flight in 2012.

Teddy Okereafor – Cheshire Phoenix

In the year that he broke the record for consecutive appearances for the Great Britain national team, Teddy Okereafor ends it with election to the Molten BBL British Team of the Year after he captained Cheshire to sixth and the BBL Trophy title. In his second BBL campaign, he posted 12 points, six assists and two steals per game in league action, and was seventh among all players in assists, fifth in steals and fourth in overall minutes played as a dependable floor general for the Phoenix. Winning the BBL Trophy at the Emirates Arena live on Sky Sports was no doubt the team’s highlight, with Okereafor scoring 12 points with six rebounds and five assists, having put up 23 points with eight assists in their sensational Trophy semi-final comeback at home against Glen LussGlasgow Rocks.

Rowell Graham-Bell – Plymouth City Patriots

Another player competing in the BBL for the first time, after eight campaigns in Spain, Rowell Graham-Bell was instrumental for the resurgent Plymouth City Patriots as they finished in the eighth and final Play-off spot. The 6’6″ Londoner averaged 15 points and seven rebounds per game, ranking seventh in the BBL for rebounds, as well as seventh in overall interior baskets scored and eighth in total free-throws made as he proved to be a physical handful for opposing defenses. Graham-Bell saved the best for last as he put up a huge double-double of 26 points and 11 rebounds as Patriots beat Newcastle Eagles at home, thereby securing their post-season berth ahead of their ninth-placed opponents.

Mike Ochereobia – Cheshire Phoenix

The only team with two representatives, Cheshire’s big man Mike Ochereobia makes the team with his name all over BBL leaderboards during their successful silverware-winning season. An experienced BBL campaigner, in his fourth season in the league he has averaged 10 points – scoring at an efficient clip of just under 60% – and nine rebounds per game in all competitions, with four of those boards coming at the offensive end, as he led the league in total rebounds, was second on the offensive glass, fourth in field goal percentage, and sixth in blocked shots. He finished the season with six double-doubles, most notably 24 points and 18 rebounds in an overtime loss to Newcastle, and also had 12 points and eight boards in the BBL Trophy Final win, recently agreeing to a two-year contract extension.

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