Melbourne’s own Casper Ware joins Adelaide 36ers point guard Jerome Randle and Perth Wildcats small forward Casey Prather as part of the 2016-17 All-NBL First Team, the NBL announced on Monday night at the NBL MVP Awards Night, at Peninsula, Docklands in Melbourne.
Joining the three scorers are Daniel Johnson of the 36ers and AJ Ogilvy of the Illawarra Hawks.
Ogilvy makes his third appearance on the All-NBL First Team, Randle and Johnson both make their second, while Ware and Prather each earn First Team honours for the first time.
The All-NBL Teams were chosen via a voting system involving the Head Coach, one Assistant Coach and the Team Captain of each team. Voters selected their All-NBL First and Second Teams by selecting three ‘outside’ players and two ‘inside’ players for each team.
Players are then allocated 3 points for being placed into a First Team and 2 points for being placed into a Second Team. These points are then combined, with the Top 10 players making up the First and Second Teams, allowing for an even spread of three ‘outside’ players and two ‘inside’ players on each team.
Randle’s playmaking, scoring and ability to deliver in the clutch powered Adelaide’s high-paced team throughout the season. He finished third among all NBL players in both scoring (21.0 points per game) and assists (5.3 assists per game). For the second consecutive season he averaged 20 or more points and 5 or more assists per game, something no other player has ever achieved in the NBL’s 40-minute era.
Ware joined Melbourne United in Round 7 and made an instant impact with his elite scoring and playmaking. He finished second among all NBL players in scoring with an average of 22.1 points per game and fifth in assists, averaging 4.5 per game. Melbourne had won just 3 of their opening 10 games prior to Ware’s arrival but the 27-year-old led them right to the brink of the Finals. He scored in double figures in every one of his games, including an impressive 38-point haul against Perth in Round 10.
Prather, competing in his second NBL season, finished inside the top five for both scoring (19.3 points per game) and steals (1.6 steals per game) as he led the Wildcats to their 31st consecutive trip to the NBL Finals. The 198cm small forward scored in double-figures in 24 of his 27 games, including a mesmerising 39-point performance against Melbourne in Round 10. Prather was also spectacular in Perth’s run to the Finals, averaging 27.5 points and 8.5 assists across two crucial Round 19 victories.
Johnson, participating in his ninth NBL season, was a pillar of strength for the ladder-leading Adelaide 36ers. He ranked twelfth among all NBL players for scoring (15.2 points per game) and fourth for rebounding (7.3 rebounds per game). He scored in double digits in 24 of his 26 games and registered three double-doubles. With his consistent play, Johnson played a pivotal role in guiding the 36ers back to the Finals.
Ogilvy makes his third appearance in the All-NBL First team in the past four years. The 211cm centre led the NBL in double-doubles (5), ranked third among all players in rebounds (7.5 rebounds per game) and second in blocks (1.5 blocks per game). He also averaged 11.4 points and 1.1 steals per game while playing in every one of Illawarra’s regular season games.