WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Sea Bears of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) are proud to announce three of the team’s players have been named finalists for the league’s end-of-season awards.

Teddy Allen, Jelani Watson-Gayle and Simon Hildebrandt are all under consideration for prestigious titles.

Allen has been named one of two finalists for Most Valuable Player, a title sung to him by adoring Sea Bears fans each time he visited the charity stripe this season. The nod is unsurprising after Allen averaged 27.6 points per game for a team that led the West for much of the season. His ability to score was superhuman, softly placing it off the glass regardless of the two or three defenders draped all over him.

As much as he epitomized the nickname he came to town with (“Buckets”), Allen also got it done all over the floor, forcing opponents into turnovers he’d run back for layups or dunks to break the decibel meter at Canada Life Centre.

He gave fans plenty more to cheer about in several historic nights: first putting up a league-record tying 42 points in Scarborough then going off for a CEBL single-game record of nine threes at home against Brampton.

In addition to finishing as the league’s second-leading scorer on a contending team, Allen also finished the season in the top ten in each of the following categories:

·     Three points made: 72 (1st)

·     Average defensive rebounds: 6.5 (T-4th)

·     Assists: 77 (T-9th)

·     Total rebounds: 167 (5th)

·     Average total rebounds: 8.0 (T-7th)

·     Average steals: 1.7 (7th)

·     Free throw percentage: 80.5 (5th)

·     Average minutes: 36.1 (1st)

·     Total minutes: 757:00 (1st)

His rebound-per-game mark is the highest of any guard in the CEBL.

“In our inaugural season here in Winnipeg, Teddy immediately established himself as our go-to guy and leader. His record-setting performances in scoring and three pointers made caught everyone's attention, but I'm also proud of Teddy's growth as a leader. His love to play is just as apparent as his scoring talent. Sea Bears Nation loved watching Teddy Buckets and his performance helped elevate everyone on our team,” said Sea Bears head coach and general manager, Mike Taylor.

Saskatchewan’s Justin Wright-Foreman has also been named a finalist for this award.

Jelani Watson-Gayle has been named a finalist for the CEBL Sixth Man of the Year Award.

Watson-Gayle didn’t need the moniker of “starter” to quickly establish a name for himself in a new city. Sea Bears fans were eager to see the London, UK product sub into the game, trusting his sound scoring ability and two-way fundamentals would soon make an impact regardless the situation.

But what really captured the hearts of the Sea Bears faithful was his laser focus and tendency to come through big when his team needed him the most. Watson-Gayle scored five of the team’s 12 game-winning baskets. He put up an otherworldly 49 per cent three-point average in the regular season, nearly five per cent higher than his nearest competitor.

“All summer long, Jelani Watson-Gayle gave our team a big boost off the bench with his dynamic playmaking and clutch shots. Leading the CEBL in three-point shooting percentage and scoring average off bench (12.5 PPG) are one part of the story. Even more impactful were Jelani's five game-winning baskets/free throws that showed the winner he is,” said Sea Bears head coach and general manager, Mike Taylor.

Eddie Ekiyor of the Niagara River Lions is the other finalist for this award.

Simon Hildebrandt has been named a finalist for the U SPORTS Player of the Year Award.

In his first pro season, Hildebrandt showed few signs of his youth, picking up big minutes in key moments for his highly-ranked squad. The Winnipeg, MB product stepped into the limelight right away, putting in 29 minutes during the team’s season opener when fellow Winnipegger Chad Posthumus exited early due to foul trouble. Hildebrandt stuck to his game in front of a record-setting CEBL crowd, notching 13 points and going 50 per cent from the field.

Hildebrandt, often one of the last to leave the gym after wins and losses alike at Canada Life Centre, earned the RE/MAX Player of the Game title after a win in Edmonton on July 8, when he scored 19 points on five of eight from beyond the arc. Hildebrandt has also accounted for a Target Score winner, putting his stamp all over the team’s regular season success.

“Simon Hildebrandt played a key role in our success this summer and had some highlight moments for us including his game winner against Montreal and an 11-point 11-rebound double-double in his first start during our playoff game. As a 19-year-old playing with older, more experienced professionals, Simon demonstrated an outstanding work ethic and an excellent attitude to learn new things. Most important, as a Winnipeg kid, he is a fine young man. We are all very proud of Simon,” said Sea Bears head coach and general manager, Mike Taylor.

David Walker of the Scarborough Shooting Stars has also been named a finalist for this award.

The winners will be announced Wednesday, August 9 in Pitt Meadows, BC at the CEBL Awards banquet, which kicks off Championship Weekend.

Award nominees and winners 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.


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