Allen, Gray earn top honours at 2023 CEBL Awards
The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) announced the winners of the 2023 CEBL Awards at an event at Sky Hangar in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia on Wednesday evening. Winnipeg Sea Bears guard Teddy Allen took home top honours as the 2023 CEBL Most Valuable Player, while Kadre Gray of the Ottawa BlackJacks was named 2023 CEBL Canadian Player of the Year.
The full list of winners is as follows:
2023 CEBL Award Winners
Most Valuable Player: Teddy Allen (Winnipeg)
Canadian Player of the Year: Kadre Gray (Ottawa)
Coach of the Year: Mike Taylor (Winnipeg)
Sixth Man of the Year: Jelani Watson-Gayle (Winnipeg)
U SPORTS Player of the Year: Simon Hildebrandt (Winnipeg)
Defensive Player of the Year: Khalil Ahmad (Niagara)
Clutch Player of the Year: Khalil Ahmad (Niagara)
Allen was among CEBL leaders in numerous major statistical categories in 2023, including leading the league in points (544), three pointers made (tie-70), minutes (717) and minutes played per game (35.9), while finishing second in average points per game (27.2), fifth in total rebounds (157) and steals (33), and 10th in assists (72). He tied a CEBL record for points in a single game with 42 on June 2 at Scarborough, set a league record with nine three pointers June 15 vs. Brampton, and finished his season with another league record for points in a single playoff game with 35 vs. Edmonton on August 4.
Gray led the CEBL in 2023 in average assists per game (6.3), finished second in total assists (tie-101), fifth in three-point percentage (43.0%) and seventh in average minutes per game (32.7). The Toronto, Ontario native led the Ottawa BlackJacks to the second-best record in the league (tie) at 12-8. He hit the Target Score game-winning shot in seven of Ottawa’s 12 wins on the season, finishing in second place for the Clutch Player of the Year award.
Taylor won CEBL Coach of the Year after leading the expansion Sea Bears to the second-best record in league (tie) at 12-8 and second place in the western conference. Winnipeg’s high-powered offence had the most three pointers made (222) and scored the second-most points (1,812) of any team in the 2023 regular season.
Winnipeg’s Watson-Gayle was selected as the CEBL’s Sixth Man of the Year, coming off the bench in 19 games for the Sea Bears in 2021. Despite not starting, the native of London, England led the CEBL in three-point percentage (49.0%) and was sixth in the league in three pointers made (47). He also hit five Target Score game-winning shots.
Hildebrandt accounted for Winnipeg’s fourth award on the night, being named U SPORTS Player of the Year after the University of Manitoba forward averaged 5.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 21 minutes per game in 2023.
Ahmad, the 2022 CEBL MVP and Clutch Player of the Year, took home two more awards this season, earning Defensive Player of the Year and another Clutch Player of the Year honours. The Anaheim, California native led the CEBL in 2023 Target Score game-winning shots (8) and steals per game (2.4), finished second in assists per game (6.1), fourth in total assists (97) and sixth in points per game (19.6). He led the Niagara River Lions to a league-best 13-7 record and 1,833 points for, and the third-least points against with just 1,714 over 20 games.
All CEBL Award winners receive a customized ring from Jostens, the official Supplier of Awards and Rings to the CEBL, Foot Locker gear and three free flight vouchers for two courtesy of Flair Airlines. The CEBL Most Valuable Player also received the CEBL Most Valuable Player Trophy. The trophy, designed by CEBL partner and Montreal-based trophy maker, Protocole, is marked by an ‘X’ mounted on a maple hardwood base inspired by CEBL’s three-time MVP Xavier Moon (2019, 2020 & 2021).
The 2023 All-CEBL First, Second, and All-Canadian Teams were also revealed at the CEBL Awards:
All CEBL First Team: Teddy Allen (Winnipeg), Justin Wright-Foreman (Saskatchewan), Cat Barber (Scarborough), Khalil Ahmad (Niagara), Simi Shittu (Calgary)
All CEBL Second Team: Kadre Gray (Ottawa), Deng Adel (Ottawa), Christian Vital (Brampton), Ahmed Hill (Montreal), EJ Anosike (Winnipeg)
CEBL All-Canadian Team: Simi Shittu (Calgary), Kadre Gray (Ottawa), Sean Miller-Moore (Calgary), Thomas Kennedy (Scarborough), Jackson Rowe (Ottawa)
Award nominees, winners and All-CEBL First, Second, and All-Canadian Teams are determined by votes cast by the league’s head coaches, general managers, assistant coaches, select league broadcasters, and internal media personnel. Team representatives are prohibited from voting for a player or head coach from their own team.
The CEBL Awards was the first official event of Championship Weekend 2023, which is being held in Vancouver, BC between August 9-13. The Conference Final doubleheader is set for Friday, August 11 at Langley Events Centre, kicking off with the East’s Niagara River Lions and Scarborough Shooting Stars at 5 p.m. PDT (8 p.m. EDT), followed by the West’s Calgary Surge and Vancouver Bandits at 7:30 p.m. PDT (10:30 p.m. EDT). The winners then square off Sunday, August 13 at 4 p.m. PDT (7 p.m. EDT) in the CEBL Final at Langley Events Centre.