|Esh Group Eagles Newcastle forward Charles Smith has been crowned BBL MVP for the first time in his distinguished career.
The veteran has been a pivotal factor in his team completing a silverware treble and was the standout choice of BBL clubs who voted in the poll.
The prestigious award follows on from his BBL Trophy MVP gong, recent Molten Player of the Month award for April and also being named BBL Player of the Year by the Basketball Journalists Association (BJA) in their annual awards.
Also featuring in seven BBL Team of the Week starting five line-ups during the campaign, Smith has certainly been the difference maker for the Eagles in so many games.
Playing with a fractured hand, he turned the BBL Trophy Final on its head with some huge plays during crunch time and with injuries piling up for the Eagles at the end of the regular season, Smith was instrumental in getting his side over the line to complete the defence of their BBL title.
He was also just shaded for MVP honours by team-mate Rahmon Fletcher during the BBL Cup Final back in January, when he top scored for his team with 21 points against former side Glasgow Rocks.
Smith averaged 18.6 points per game during the regular season from an eye-catching 53% shooting and he also corralled 6.5 boards, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
Nicknamed ‘Charlie Buckets’ by supporters who worship him on Tyneside, Smith has further cemented his status as a club legend with this honour, while many would also now argue he is a bonafide BBL legend too.
Not least, Eagles’ Chief Executive Paul Blake, who has been instrumental in keeping him at the club for the bulk of his career.
He said, “There really are few words left to say about the brilliance of Charles, because it’s all been said before – so many times.
“The fact that he has still managed to stand out in what is very much a team-orientated set-up does speak absolute volumes.
“He gets better with age and just when you think he couldn’t possibly produce anything more special – he then pulls out something even more outstanding.
“Charles is an Eagles legend and I think that with this deserved MVP award, it also rubber stamps that legend status within a BBL context too.”
Demond Watt was second in the voting, with the Cheshire Phoenix star having been phenomenally consistent throughout his first year in the league – topping the chart for shooting with an incredible 65% from the floor.
He was closely followed by his Cheshire team-mate Taylor King, who took the final place on the podium in the poll, having led the BBL in scoring during the regular season with 20.1 points per game.