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Montepaschi Siena's Bo McCalebb wins Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy
April 17, 2012
The 2012 Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy has been won by Bo McCalebb of Montepaschi Siena, the first point guard to win the award. The Top Scorer Trophy is the first Turkish Airlines Euroleague post-season award, given annually to the Euroleague player with the most points averaged over a minimum number of games. This season, McCalebb earned what is the Euroleague's only post-season award based solely on statistics thanks to his scoring average of 16.88 points over a total of 17 games. He scored in double digits in all of his 17 Euroleague games this season and went beyond the 20-point mark four times. McCalebb made 52.6% of his three-pointers this season, tied with teammate Tomas Ress for the highest accuracy rate among all Euroleague players. He also had eighth-best two-point shooting rate, 63.7%, first among all guards. His scoring average was McCalebb's best yet in three Euroleague seasons. The winner of the Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy will be honored at the Efes Pilsener Euroleague Awards Ceremony on the evening of May 12 at Ciragan Palace in Istanbul during the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four.
Just like his team, McCalebb opened the 2011-12 Turkish Airlines Euroleague season in style with 17 points in an opening night road win against Unics. He added 17 on 8-of-8 shooting against Union Olimpija and 19 against Galatasaray Medical Park as Montepaschi got to 3-0. McCalebb raised the bar even higher to score 20 against FC Barcelona Regal and 22 against Unics, both of then eventual playoff teams. He averaged 17.9 points in seven regular season games and ranked fourth in the competition at the end of this phase. McCalebb started the Top 16 in even better shape, scoring 18 points against Gescrap BB and a season-high 25 in a big road win against Real Madrid, for which he earned Top 16, Game 2 bwin MVP honors. McCalebb remained consistent to average 16.8 points and become the Top 16 scoring champion. Once in the playoffs, McCalebb had a 21-point effort in Game 2 against Olympiacos, leading Montepaschi to its only victory in the series. He was the playoffs' fourth-best scorer at 15.3 points per game. By the time he and Montepaschi were eliminated, McCalebb had made 86 of 135 two-point shots, 20 of 38 three-pointers and 55 of 68 free throws to total 294 points in 17 games. Vassilis Spanoulis of Olympiacos was second in the top scoring race with 16.53 points on average, followed by Sonny Weems of Zalgiris (15.53 ppg.), Henry Domercant of Unics (15.47 ppg.) and Nenad Krstic of CSKA Moscow (14.65 ppg.).
McCalebb joins three-time Ford Trophy winner Igor Rakocevic (2007, 2009, 2011), Linas Kleiza of Olympiacos (2010), Marc Salyers of Chorale Roanne (2008), Drew Nicholas of Benetton Treviso (2006) and the trophy's first winner, Charles Smith of Scavolini Pesaro (2005), to become the sixth player to win the award in eight years. Alphonso Ford died of leukemia in September 2004 after a career in which he was the competition's top scorer twice, in 2000-01 and 2001-02, both seasons with Olympiacos. He subsequently led Montepaschi Siena in scoring as it reached the 2003 Final Four in its debut Euroleague season. The Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy is the first in a series of Euroleague end-of-season honors. Other to be announced shortly include: the Euroleague Best Defender Trophy, the Euroleague Rising Star Trophy, and the All-Euroleague first and second team nominees. The All-Euroleague teams and the Sportingbet MVP for 2010-11 will be revealed at the Efes Pilsener Euroleague Awards Ceremony on May 12. The Alexander Gomelskiy Coach of the Year Trophy and the Euroleague Club Executive of the Year are post-season awards.
His first Top Scorer Trophy is mere confirmation for what basketball fans have known; McCalebb has developed into an unstoppable scoring presence. His explosiveness, one-on-one skills and incredible quickness have turned him into a nightmare matchup. McCalebb played college basketball in his hometown at the University of New Orleans, where he averaged 20.9 points in 128 NCAA games through 2008. McCalebb moved overseas that summer for his first European basketball experience with Turkish side Mersin Buyuksehir Belediyesi. He averaged 17.7 points in a great season that paved the way for him to sign with Partizan. Once in the Euroleague, McCalebb made the most out of his opportunity, averaging 13.4 points and 3.4 assists and earning All-Euroleague second team honors. He helped Partizan win the Serbian League, the Serbian Cup and the Adriatic League titles and reach the Euroleague Final Four for the first time since 1998. In his two seasons with Montepaschi, McCalebb has been to another Final Four, lifted the Italian League trophy once so far and won back-to-back Italian Cup titles. McCalebb, who turns 27 days before the 2012 Euroleague Final Four, is a regular member of the FYROM national team and led the country it to its best result ever, fourth place at EuroBasket 2011.
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