Cobras superstar Lauren Nicholson has dominated the NBL1 annual awards, taking home Defensive Player of the Year honours while cementing a place in the NBL1 All-Star Five and finishing as the league MVP runner-up.
It was a huge day at the NBL1 Awards – held on Sunday in Melbourne – by Nicholson, earning the league’s top defensive honour while narrowly missing out on her second consecutive MVP. With the MVP award decided on game-to-game voting, Nicholson likely would have won the award in 2019 if not for missing a trio of games due to Australian Opals commitments.
Averaging 25 points, six rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game in 2019, Nicholson’s output on the offensive end was remarkable in itself, but it was her ability to take over a game on the defensive end which has seen her clearly establish herself as the NBL1’s best two way player. Nicholson’s defensive dominance was evident in the postseason, as she hounded fellow Australian Opals squad members, Maddie Garrick and Sara Blicavs, into a combined 8-for-31 shooting – and a combined 18 points below their season scoring average – during the Cobras Preliminary and Grand Final victories over Nunawading and Geelong, respectively.
Nicholson’s league accolades rounded out an incredible week for the Cobra guard, as she was named to the Opals squad of 16 for the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup before destroying the Geelong Supercats to the tune of 36 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the NBL1 Championship Game, leading Kilsyth to the inaugural league championship while claiming Finals MVP honours in the process.
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