SUMMER AAA AWARDS GALA
|In the future, DLNY should host extravagant red carpet galas to award its end of season player accolades. We could call it “The YANGIES,” since the awards would all be golden statuettes of our beloved commish Brian Yang in action, maybe in his classic lefty jump-shot pose. You can almost imagine Arif Ansari, dressed to the nines, cracking “that’s what she said” jokes before ripping open the envelope to announce the Most Valuable Player award. |
Until then, we’ll have to use our imagination. The recently-concluded 2010 Summer AAA season was memorable for a number of things:
1. Players on all five teams coping with the record heat and ungodly conditions in the JRHS gym
2. The impressive ascension of BK Hustlas, starting the season as a punching dummy and ending the season as undoubtedly the team that improved the most, comporting themselves in the finals as every bit the worthy finalists
3. The mastery of a Tri-State Old School team, a basketball purist’s delight, with each player understanding and executing his role to perfection, rolling to a perfect 10-0 season and its fourth championship as a franchise
But bah! Enough of all this talk of team, team, team! We’re all here for the individual accolades, so without further ado, let’s begin with the big one:
MVP: Kashem Miah, Tri-State Old School
This one was a no-brainer. Essentially on summer loan to TSIVOS from Bearmen, Kash was determined to end his championship drought in the DLNY, and did so in historically dominant fashion. Kash was the only thing hotter than the weather this summer. His season stats are possibly the most dominant set of numbers ever posted by a player in any DL season. He led the league in scoring (23.2 ppg), field goal percentage (.552), and free throw shooting (.862). But that’s not all. Remarkably, he was also 6th in rebounding (8.2), 3rd in assists (3.7), and 3rd in 3-point shooting (.433). But wait, we’re not done yet. Kash was 4th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.74), and 4th in steals (2.4). The only positive statistical category in which Kash did not appear in the Top 20 was blocked shots, and that was probably because TSIVOS’ zone had him playing D on the perimeter all season long.
All of this is made even more impressive when two other factors are taken into account: he was NOT the focal point of the TSIVOS offense (Vegas Dave holds that distinction), and he did all this while, as acting commissioner during Brian Yang’s absence, half his mind was occupied with scorer’s table and shot-clock issues. So dominant was Kash’s performance this season, it often seemed that he personally would simply not allow Tri-State to lose a quarter, much less a game. Whether it was a clutch bucket, a big rebound amongst the trees, or a nifty pass zipped to a streaking Vegas Dave or wide open Chris Kwan on the wing, Kash found multiple ways of wreaking havoc, and to his lucky teammates he was indeed Cold Hard Kash. Congratulations to a most deserving MVP, for both this individual award as well as the ‘chip.
The Vic Tai Cheng Most Inspiration Player Award: James Tai, Bad Boys.
This grizzled veteran posted a comeback season after retirement to become a family man did not sit well with the competitor inside of him. His 9 ppg, 4.7rpg, 3.7apg (2nd in the league) and league-leading 3.7spg are remarkable especially considering Mr. Tai made his cameo as a member of the now-defunct Skyhook, waaay back in the Fall 2005 season. Mr. Tai’s ability to perform on such a high level against all the young guns in the league is an inspiration to both young and old.
Defensive Player of the Season: Victor Lin, Moneyball
V-Lin was an absolute defensive terror. His combination of size, quickness, and aggression made life miserable for opposing scorers, helping Moneyball to the league’s second-best team defense at 51.1 PA/game. Individually, he was 3rd in the league in rebounding and 7th in steals, but it was more of an attitude of overall nastiness and an unwillingness to allow any easy scores that he brought to the table that makes him this season’s top defending dog.
Top Rookie of the Season: Albert Chen, Bad Boys
Hello world, don’t mind me as I dominate you in a gentlemanly fashion. Albert Chen cruised along the first few games of the season, putting up solid but not spectacular low-end double-double numbers. That is, until the last game of the regular season against the eventual finalist BK Hustlas, where he began a torrid stretch of 18-point, 11 rebound games going into the playoffs. He ended up 7th in scoring (14.1ppg), 3rd in rebounding (9.1), 2nd in FG% (.536), and tops in blocked shots (1.1). Captain Rob Schopen has found himself a real deal player for his franchise(s) for hopefully many seasons to come.
All League First Team
Kashem Miah (G) Tri-State Old School
”Vegas” Dave Wong (G), Tri-State Old School
Albert Chen (C), Bad Boys
Victor Lin (F), Moneyball
Lewis Leung (F), BK Hustlas
Kash Miah takes his name off the “Best Player Never to Have Won a Championship” list and does so in grand style, Brian Yang autographed jersey to the reader who can name who’s now at the top of this list…backcourt batterymate Vegas Dave Wong’s remarkable season and continued resurgence into his 30’s was somewhat overshadowed by Kash’s MVP season, but 18.8ppg, 50% fg%, 3 spg and 1.7apg, plus getting to the charity stripe more than any other player in the league (48 free throws) marked yet another remarkable performance in his legendary career…rookie sensation Albert Chen anchored the Bad Boys with remarkable consistency, as scorekeepers would pencil him in for a double-double before the game would even begin. Shooting a 54% clip from the field while posting 14.1ppg, there wasn’t much of a transition period for this talented big man…Defense Only? Hardly! DPOS Victor Lin also led the league in double-doubles, was 5th in scoring with 15.7ppg and 5th in rebounding at 8.4rpg, talk about two way threat….Lewis Leung was BK Hustlas best player, a multitalented forward in the mold of Andrei Kirilenko who could rebound, defend, and score from anywhere on the court. Even his Yinka Dare-ish assist numbers couldn’t keep him from garnering first team honors, as his other talents drove his team to the brink of a title.
All League Second Team
Sol Choe (G), Moneyball
Phivan Quach (G), BK Hustlas
Chris Kwan (G), Tri-State Old School
Eric Rhee (F), Good News Bears
Ilye Levin (F), BK Hustlas
Even though his sick 39-point game in the semifinals couldn’t propel his Moneyball team into the title game, Sol Choe had a great season with 16.8ppg, 44% fg%, 2apg and 1.2spg…Phivan Quach exemplified the silent aggression aspect of the BK Hustlas squad, averaging 10.1ppg, 2.0apg, 47% fg, 2.0spg, and 0.0spg (smiles per game)…feisty forward Ilye Levin more than made up for teammate Quach’s silence with a 30.9 ttpg (trash talks per game), along with 9.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg and undoubtedly the winner of the Muhammed Ali Award for Awesomest Self Promotion with his hearty bellow of “They Need a Triple Team to Stop Me!!!” during the finals against TSIVOS…sweet shooting lefty Eric Rhee gets his first ever All League nod as Good News Bears’ sole representative, and was the leading scorer for his squad in their lone win of the season against a four-person Moneyball “team.” And finally, long-deserved recognition finally comes to the willowy Tri-State shooter supreme Chris Kwan, who exemplified the X-factor for his squad as his scorching hot shooting outside shooting would turn close games into laughers all season long. Kwan’s 31 made three pointers was the most by any player this season, and his 44% fg was unbelievably high for a player for whom the three-pointer comprised almost 80% of his shot selection.