BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Sebastian Machowski and Oldenburg are enjoying an outstanding season in both the EuroChallenge and the German BEKO BBL|
Sebastian Machowski, the head coach of EuroChallenge semi-finalists EWE Baskets Oldenburg, was named Coach of the Year in the German BEKO Bundesliga on Tuesday.
The season award winners are voted by a panel that includes the coaches and captains of all 18 teams in the top flight of German basketball, as well as media covering the sport in the country.
"I feel very honoured," Machowski said on winning the distinction.
"I understand this award as a tribute to the work of the entire coaching staff and the entire team.
"It is a great pleasure to see how our work is recognized by our colleagues in the league."
The 41-year-old Berliner was handed the reins of Oldenburg last summer, following a three-year spell at fellow Bundesliga club New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig.
His first coaching job was with Polish club Kotwica Kołobrzeg, where he had finished his playing career in 2008.
Machowski had played professionally for close to two decades, suiting up for big German clubs like ALBA Berlin, Bayer Leverkusen or Telekom Baskets Bonn, as well as historical European clubs like Taugrés Vitoria (today Caja Laboral) in Spain, Panionios Athens in Greece and Lottomatica Roma in Italy.
In addition to having reached the EuroChallenge Final Four, Oldenburg have all but secured second place in the Bundesliga ahead of the play-offs, standing at 23-8 with three games left to the end of the Regular Season.
A deep rotation, physical approach to the game and hard-nosed defence are credited as the main reasons for the success of the north-German side, as they give up an average of just 71.4 points per contest to their opponents in the Bundesliga (70.7 in the EuroChallenge).
Two of Machowski's players and linchpins to Oldenburg's impressive season so far, were voted in the All-First Team and All-Second Team.
Small forward Rickey Paulding joins in the First Team Bonn's point guard Jared Jordan, Slovakian international Anton Gavel of Brose Baskets Bamberg, power forward Deon Thompson of ALBA and center John Bryant of ratiopharm Ulm, who was named MVP for the second consecutive year.
Center Adam Chubb meanwhile is in the second team, alongside Tyrese Rice of Bayern Munich, shooting guard Davin White of Phoenix Hagen, small forward Reggie Redding of Tigers Tübingen and power forward Chevon Troutman, also of Bayern.
The big revelation of this season's Bundesliga awards though is a 19-year-old German international.
Point guard Dennis Schröder of New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig was named as both the best German player of under 24 years of age and as the most improved player in the league.
The 1.88m Schröder is a starter at Braunschweig this season under Greek coach Kostas Flevarakis and has been averaging 12 points, 3.2 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game.
He was one of the key players on the German side that took fifth place in last summer's U20 European Championship, finishing with a tournament average of 6.1 points and two assists in Slovenia.