There was so much to like about so much of what the Perth Redbacks achieved in 2021 leading to a memorable awards night with Makailah Dyer and Louis Timms taking out the top honours.
It was a historic year for basketball in Western Australia with the first ever NBL1 West season taking place with the SBL transitioning into being part of the national body, and the Perth Redbacks were right at the forefront of it.
By the end of the season, the Redbacks women’s and men’s teams had done so well. They were one of five clubs to have both their women’s and men’s teams make the final. And they were the only club in the competition to have both team’s reach the preliminary finals (final four).
While the Grand Final wasn’t quite in the making for either team, both Redbacks teams deserve to be tremendously proud of how well they performed and that was celebrated at the end of season awards night.
Makailah Dyer returned to the Redbacks in 2021 for the first ever NBL1 West season and produced an outstanding season to end up being named the Most Valuable Player.
She averaged 22.7 points a game to go with 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists, and that included a massive finals campaign where her numbers rose to 29.7 points a game.
Along with the MVP award, she was the Redbacks’ leading scorer for the season along with claiming both the Len Vlahov and Vern Hiddlestone Memorial Trophies.
Maddie Allen had another standout season for the Redbacks doing a power of work inside ending up averaging 8.3 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.9 steals to once again be an outstanding all-around contributor.
As a result, Allen was named Fairest and Best for the Redbacks in the 2021 season along with being named the Best Defensive Player while leading the way in rebounds and assists – a remarkable feat given she is the centre on the team.
Raya Thompson joined the Redbacks in 2021 and was impressive in the backcourt after a horror injury run to be named the Most Improved Player while captain Jess Jakens was recognised as the Most Consistent Player in a season where she celebrated her 200-game milestone.
Louis Timms was another new arrival to the Redbacks in 2021 and the way he embraced the club saw him quickly became a favourite in red. By the end of the season, he had delivered a remarkable finals series and was named MVP for the season.
Timms averaged 22.6 points and 8.4 rebounds a game while shooting an impressive 51.2 per cent from the field, 74.3 per cent from the foul line and 33.8 per cent from downtown.
Timms then went up another gear in the playoffs for the Redbacks delivering first 32 points and then 36 in the wins over the Warwick Senators and Willetton Tigers.
Not only was Timms named MVP of the season and was the leading scorer, but he shared the Most Consistent Player award with captain Joel Wagner on top of being the leading rebounder and winning the Vern Hiddlestone Memorial Trophy.
It was another outstanding season for captain Joel Wagner who continues to show no signs of slowing down even though he has now played 379 matches to be the Redbacks all-time games record holder.
Not only that, but he is also the league’s all-time assists leader and he continued that on in 2021 by averaging another 6.4 assists a game to lead the team along with being named Fairest and Best and sharing the Most Consistent Player award with Timms.
Zac Gattorna had an outstanding season for the Redbacks too to take out the Most Improved Player of the Year Award on the back of averaging 18.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
Kyden Edman was another player to take a big step forward in 2021 and he was recognised by being named the Best Defensive Player and winning the Len Vlahov Memorial Trophy.
The two head coaches Craig Allen and CJ Jackson must be acknowledged as well for their outstanding performances during the 2021 season to achieve the success they did. While Allen has since decided to step away from his role as women’s coach, this season’s results are testament to his outstanding service. Thank you Craig!