Wollongong Hawks import Rotnei Clarke has won the Andrew Gaze Trophy as the NBL 2013/2014 MVP.
In an extremely tight vote count, Clarke won the MVP award ahead of Melbourne Tigers star Chris Goulding.
The count was a three horse race, with Perth Wildcats import James Ennis finishing third after setting the early pace.
Clarke powered up the leaderboard over the second half of the season. His run coinciding with Wollongong’s stunning resurgence to claim the fourth playoff position.
He was third for the season in total points scored (633), fourth in scoring average (21.1 points per game), equal first for three-pointers (95) and third for free-throw percentage (81%).
It capped a successful first season as a professional for the former Butler University star.
On a big night for the Hawks, their veteran mentor Gordie McLeod won the Lindsay Gaze Trophy for Coach of the Year.
It was the second time McLeod has won the award after taking it out in 2010. The circumstances were far different this time though as McLeod took his team from 6-13 and last on the ladder to finish 13-15 while securing a playoff position.
Wollongong import Kevin Tiggs was also named the NBL’s Best Sixth Man. Perth Wildcats captain Damian Martin won the Best Defensive Player for an unprecedented fourth straight season. His teammate Tom Jervis was the Rookie of the Year and Melbourne’s Nate Tomlinson took out the Most Improved Player award.
Clarke, Goulding and Ennis were all part of the 2014 All-NBL First Team. They were joined in the starting five by Sydney Kings centre AJ Ogilvy and Adelaide 36ers forward Daniel Johnson.
The All-NBL Second Team features Damian Martin, teammate Jermaine Beal, Sydney Kings import Sam Young, New Zealand hard man Mika Vukona and Townsville Crocodiles big Brian Conklin.
MVP: Rotnei Clarke (Wollongong Hawks)
Coach of the Year: Gordie McLeod (Wollongong Hawks)
All-NBL First Team: Rotnei Clarke (Wollongong Hawks), Chris Goulding (Melbourne Tigers), James Ennis (Perth Wildcats), Daniel Johnson (Adelaide 36ers), AJ Ogilvy (Sydney Kings)
All-NBL Second Team: Damian Martin (Perth Wildcats), Jermaine Beal (Perth Wildcats), Sam Young (Sydney Kings), Mika Vukona (NZ Breakers), Brian Conklin (Townsville Crocodiles)
Sixth Man of the Year: Kevin Tiggs (Wollongong Hawks)
Best Defensive Player: Damian Martin (Perth Wildcats)
Referee of the Year: Michael Aylen
Most Improved Player: Nate Tomlinson (Melbourne Tigers)
Rookie of the Year: Tom Jervis (Perth Wildcats)