After successful seasons, the Loughborough Student Riders Men’s and Women’s teams had individuals recognised for their achievements.
Women’s Head Coach Matthew Harber was named Division 2 (Midlands-South East) Coach of the Year after leading the young Student Riders to a 15-1 regular season record and taking the National Division 2 Championship. In his first season of coaching senior National League, Coach Harber turned the spotlight to his team when asked about the award;
“This has been a great year overall for women’s basketball here at the University and I’m very happy to receive this recognition from the coaches within the division. It means a lot! However, this accolade is also a reflection of our team, who have committed to our programme and have completely bought in to our system and philosophy; remaining focused and humble all year round.”
Maaja Bratka was named as Player of the Year for Division 2 (Midlands-South East) following a tremendous first season playing in the UK. The Estonian native finished the season averaging 20.4 points per game to go along with her 9.9 rebounds. After narrowly missing out on the regular season title, Bratka helped Loughborough to a successful play-off run which culminated in a 26 points, 17 rebounds and 10 blocks, MVP performance in the Division 2 National Final.
“It has been a good season, it has had ups and downs but this year has been a great experience. We have a great team, we are like a puzzle, we fit together well and that has brought us success”
Student Riders’ Tom Ward was acknowledged for his instrumental part in the Men’s team’s success this season and was named Division 3 (North) Player of the Year. Although Ward did not feature in the statistical leaders for the season he dominated basketball games throughout the year, making game changing plays when his team needed them and established Loughborough as one of the contenders for promotion into Division 2 for next season.
Men’s Head Coach Dave Greenaway was named runner-up Coach of the Year after taking second place in Division 3 North with a record of 18-4.