Each season brings a different feeling and memory. Players and clubs go up and down as the years pass by, and in order to honor those who made the 2008/09 special here are the BSL Season Awards for the current season.
All-BSL Team - Doron Perkins (Maccabi Haifa Heat)
Probably the most versatile player ever to play in the basketball gyms in Israel. 15.8 ppg, 5.3 rpb, 5.6 apg and 3.0 spg. In the play-off series he led his team in these four categories in addition to blocks per game. Don't forget that on top of being an amazing offensive player he's also a good stopper on the defensive end which makes him the perfect package. Without a doubt a Euroleague level player that somehow fell to the hands of Haifa, and hopefully will stay in Israel the next season as well.
Perkins - the most versatile in the BSL
All-BSL Team - Luis Flores (Hapoel Meoded Tzvaim Holon)
The floor to head coach Danny Franko: "From the day that I started to coach, since the days of Rimas Kaukenas in Hapoel Galil Elyon, I've never met a player with such high work morality as Luis. He's a role model for any player out there. Simply a perfect example to how I would have wanted, as the Junior national team coach, the Israeli players to work, progress and get better. If someone out there thinks it all comes easy to Flores, they don't know him. He's a hard-worker, more than any other player. An amazing personality."
Flores, the hardest worker in the BSL
All-BSL Team - Omri Casspi (Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv)
The talent of Maccabi's forward is seen in any move he produces on court, but the most impressive thing about Omri Casspi, and what catches the eyes of the scouts in the best league in the world above anything else, is his amazing passion for the game and unstoppable hunger for the ball. Casspi loves the game, and the game loves Casspi. 12.6 ppg and 4.4 rpg in no more than 23 minutes per game, which he upgraded to 15.0 ppg and 5.8 ppg in the play-offs, bestows him a spot in the All-BSL team. We have no doubts that in the next season, or the following one, we'll have to sit in front of our TV in the middle of the night and watch him play in the NBA.
Casspi, non-stop hunger
All-BSL Team - Lior Eliyahu (Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv)
He can't score from distance, he's not a great defensive player, or even average, but the long arms, the gigantic steps, his sensors in the paint, the unstoppable off-ball movement and the soft touch around the rim makes Lior Eliyahu an unstoppable offensive machine in the BSL and the Euroleague as well. He's the best scorer among the Israeli players with 13.2 ppg (posted the same numbers in the post-season) in addition to 4.7 rpg and 3.0 apg.
Eliyahu, an offensive machine
All-BSL Team - Omar Sneed (Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem)
Another player that diversity in his trademark (together with his braids) finished the season with 14.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 5.0 apg. He kicked off the season in great shape and won the MVP of the first round, but down the road an injury and the mourning over his father's death kept him a bit more quiet than the usual. When the play-off bell made a sound he came back big time and wrote the very first triple double in the history of the Israeli play offs with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the decisive Game 3 of the series against Ironi Nahariya. His numbers in that series tell the whole story - 23 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 4.3 apg and also big 94.7% from the free throw line where he missed just a single shot in 19 attempts.
Sneed, another big season with coach Goodes
Best 6th man - Davon Jefferson (Maccabi Haifa Heat)
In the last games of the season Jefferson became a starter for Haifa, but for the vast majority of the season he came off the bench and made the difference. Some might say he deserves a spot in the All-BSL team with a contribution of 16.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg in no more than 25.3 mpg, but the fact the team matches the foreigner rules in the league pushed Jefferson back to the 6th man award. In the play-offs Jefferson, a gifted athlete to say the least, continued to display his ability to fly and wrote a big double-double average in the four games against the big guys of Bnei Hasharon - 18 ppg and 10.2 rpg.
Jefferson, on his way to the sky
Best Newcomer - Gal Mekel (Altshuler Shaham Gilboa/Galil Elyon)
After two years in Wichita State Gal Mekel signed a multi-year deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv and was on a loan this season to Gilboa/Galil. The 21 year old youngster didn't enjoy a good start but in the second round took the reins and finished the season with 6.9 ppg and 2.6 apg. In April he stepped up to 14.2 ppg and was awarded as the MVP of the month by the league. In the play-offs Mekel carried his team to a five games series against the champions from Holon when he wrote 14.0 ppg and 4.2 apg with 43% accuracy from long range. The good performance at the end of the season earned him his first ever call to the senior national team roster that eyes EuroBasket 2009 just around the corner. Don't be surprised if he makes the final list.
Mekel has no fear
Most Improving Player - Uri Kukia (Hapoel Meoded Tzvaim Holon)
At the age of 27, after several season in which he was mostly considered an unskilled worker and a player for special tasks, following a season in the second division where he helped Maccabi Haifa to win a BSL ticket, Kukia became this season a key player in a high level team. He's also a threat on offense now with 6.6 ppg and the best rebounder among Israeli players with 7.1 rpg. In the post-season he continued to upgrade his numbers and registered 8.2 ppg and 8.8 rpg in the series against Gilboa/Galil.
Kukia, key player in a winning team
Best Defensive Players - Brian Randle (Altshuler Shaham Gilboa/Galil Elyon)
In the past Oded Kattash's Galil Elyon was mostly a great offensive team, but this season one player on the team changed the mind-set and turned the team, first and foremost, to a tough defensive squad. He blocks, he steals, he's a great one-on-one defender and always on time to help his team-mates. Randle became a nightmare to all the teams in the league who know that if they want to score a bucket, they better not face Brian Randle in front of them.
Randle, leads a new approach in the north