Winners of FIBA Europe Cup Fan Vote announced
MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) - An astounding number of FIBA Europe Cup followers came out to support their favorite athletes in the 2017-18 Fan Vote.
The supporters represented their colors with pride and in numbers, with over 64,500 votes cast for the players and coaches nominated for the seven different categories.
The award announcements will come daily, one winner per day, starting from Friday, May 4 and culminating with the crowning of the MVP on May 10.
Bakken Bears star DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell was the only player to win multiple awards in the Fan Vote, triumphing both in the MVP and the Guard of the Year races after a spectacular season in Europe.
The 24-year-old guard finished the FIBA Europe Cup campaign with 334 points, the third-highest mark in the history of the competition and was the go-to guy for the Danish club in clutch situations, saving them on more than one occasion in close games.
Akoon-Purcell topped the MVP voting with 4,939 votes (39.1%); Brandyn Curry of Donar Groningen came second with 4,762 votes (37.7%), while Alba Fehervar power forward Peter Lorant received 784 votes and finished third with 6.2% of the overall ballot.
Coach of the Year
Never in the history of the club had Donar Groningen reached the Semi-Final stage of a European competition before head coach Erik Braal and his crew made it a reality in the FIBA Europe Cup this season.
The 41-year-old specialist was undoubtedly a big part of the success the Dutch title holders enjoyed internationally. In charge of Donar since 2015, Braal saw his team's results improve in each of the three seasons in the FIBA Europe Cup and has really grown as a coach together with the team.
Having finished the campaign with a 12-6 record, he was selected as the Coach of the Year with 3,815 fan votes (43.6%), leaving Bakken Bears strategist Steffen Wich in second place with 2,200 votes (25.1%). Eric Girard of ESSM Le Portel came in third, having received 577 votes (6.6%).
Young Player of the Year
In his second season in the FIBA Europe Cup, Jonas Foerts of Basic-Fit Brussels came away as the winner of the Young Player of the Year, after continuing to make progress in the Belgian capital under a new coach.
The 21-year-old forward was one of the few players born in 1996 or later to get consistent playing time and have at least five games under his belt to be considered for the award. He averaged 5.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game, converting three-pointers at an elite 40.0% clip.
Foerts led the field with 1,746 votes (25.7%); Nandor Kuti of U-BT Cluj-Napoca finished second with 1,325 votes (19.5%), while Maskim Salash of Tsmoki-Minsk received 1,228 votes (18.0%) and was third.
Defensive Player of the Year
Having climbed all the way to third in the Best Center voting, Keravnos five-man Terell Parks fared even better in the Defensive Player of the Year race where he was the most popular choice among FIBA Europe Cup fans.
The 27-year-old big man averaged 8.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 0.7 blocks per game for the Cypriot title-holders, who turned some heads by reaching the Play-Offs before being eliminated by a powerful Nizhny Novgorod side in the Round of 16.
Parks finished as the top vote-getter in the category, having received 1,442 votes (20%). Franklin Hassell of ESSM Le Portel was in second place with 1,196 votes (16.9%) and the new FIBA Europe Cup single season steal record holder Kasey Hill of Alba Fehervar was third with 1,178 votes (16.7%).
Center of the Year
The 31-year-old giant from Ukraine led the Italian club to their maiden European Final with Play-Off averages of 13.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game but could not get them over the edge in the title series against Umana Reyer Venezia.
Fesenko led the show of hands with 2,574 votes and 27.3% of the total ballot in the Center of the Year category, edging out Bakken Bears big man Michel Diouf (2,337 votes and 24.3%) and Terell Parks of Keravnos (1,487 votes and 15.8%) who finished second and third, respectively.
Forward of the Year
After introducing himself to the FIBA Europe Cup with Rilski Sportist last season, Evan Bruinsma really took off for Donar Groningen and enjoyed a thoroughly successful European campaign, both individually and for the club.
The 25-year-old power forward put up 12.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and was second on the team in efficiency behind point guard Brandyn Curry, while the Dutch title holders marched all the way to the Semi-Finals where they were eliminated by the eventual winners Umana Reyer Venezia.
Selected by 3,434 fans as the best forward in the competition, Bruinsma registered a landslide win by collecting 40.0% of the total votes cast. Jeffrey Crockett of Bakken Bears finished second in the voting with 2,086 votes (24.3%), while Peter Lorant of Alba Fehervar was third with 677 votes (7.9%).
Guard of the Year
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell spearheaded the magical Bakken Bears run in the FIBA Europe Cup that lasted all the way until the Semi-Finals and was one mean highlight machine throughout the campaign as well.
In his second season with the Danish club, the 24-year-old guard averaged 18.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game and was the leading scorer of the competition for much of the way, but did drop to second place in the leaderboard during the Play-Offs.
He was selected as the best guard in the competition by 4,359 voters (38.8%) and beat the second-placed Donar Groningen playmaker Brandyn Curry (38.6%) by just 16 votes in the ballot box. Kendrick Perry of Szolnoki Olaj was third with 765 votes, which accounted for 6.8% of all votes cast.