Kimberlee Green named ANZ Championship co-MVP

NSW Swifts Captain Kimberlee Green has this morning (Friday 20 June) been announced as joint Most Valuable Player of the 2014 ANZ Championship season, the first time the midcourter has been awarded the individual honour.

A day after being announced as the fans’ Centre in the 2014 Foxtel ANZ Championship All-Stars Team, Green was announced co-MVP alongside Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic and English international Jo Harten.

NSWSwiftsTV caught up with Green upon the announcement, with the courageous Captain saying she was surprised but honoured.

“For me it is a nice personal accolade … I never thought I would be in reach of something like that, let alone win it with someone else which is pretty cool,” Green said.

“[I’m] really excited, honoured but probably most of all shocked.”

Not only a first for Green, it is also the first time a NSW Swift has earned the accolade while wearing Red – Green’s 2014 teammate Sonia Mkoloma earned co-MVP honours in 2008 while with the Central Pulse.

The acknowledgement comes on the back of an impressive season for Green, who earned five Match MVP nods throughout the season, including three consecutive home games, and finished third in the league for goal assists (223).

You can watch the full exclusive NSWSwiftsTV interview with Kimberlee Green below where the 28-year-old talks about her recent acknowledgements, as well as the Swifts’ 2014 season.

Read the full announcement from the ANZ Championship below…

Green and Harten named joint Most Valuable Players
NSW Swifts midcourter Kimberlee Green and Kia Magic shooter Jo Harten have been named joint winners of the ANZ Championship’s Most Valuable Player award for 2014.

For the fourth time in the league’s history, the Most Valuable Player award has been split as Green and Harten finished the regular season level on 19 votes following ties in 2008, 2011 and 2012.

Green played a pivotal role in the Swifts resurgence in 2014 under the guidance of first-year coach Rob Wright as they contested Finals Series for the first time since 2011 after finishing the season in third.

The Swifts captain led by example with her tireless work rate in attack and defence to finish the regular season in fifth in the league for goal assists (203) and third at the Swifts for intercepts (11).

The 28-year-old becomes just the second Australian to win the Most Valuable Player honour after Natalie Medhurst was named joint recipient with Leana de Bruin in 2011 after the Firebirds undefeated season.

“It’s a massive honour and something I never thought I’d be anywhere near so it’s really exciting, when I was I told I had won it was a big shock but really happy,” Green said.

“(Being the first Swifts winner) is definitely something that I’ll always look back on and be extremely happy about, there’s a few more things that I want to achieve in my career – a Commonwealth Games gold medal would be amazing – but a team medal is something that I’ll treasure the most in my career and the accolades that I get on the side are a great honour and an extra bonus.”

Magic sharp shooter Harten follows a long line of imports to claim the player of the year honour, following Jhaniele Fowler-Reid (2013), Romelda Aiken (2008,2009) and Sonia Mkoloma (2008).

Harten, who becomes the second England international to be named Most Valuable Player after Mkoloma, joined the Magic this season after two years with the EasiYo Tactix to forge a formidable combination with Ellen Halpenny.

The 25-year-old finished the year as one of four players to finish the season with 500 goals or more, averaging 33.3 goals per game at 88 per cent accuracy, along with ending the year in the top 10 for offensive rebounds.

“It is a highlight of my career and I feel really privileged to have been even playing in the competition let alone taking an award like this,” Harten said of the Most Valuable Player award.

“I moved to Magic at the start of the season so I could try and make finals and try and take a step up in my career. I think I’ve done that this year. I’ve tried to be more consistent and more accurate in my shooting and performance and that’s really credit to this team and how they’ve allowed me to improve and learn.

“It’s a great accolade but it really is credit to the team. You can’t win an award like that without having a great team behind you. Even though it’s an individual thing, I do really base it on the team performance and how we came together this year.”

2014 Most Valuable Player Top 10:
1.         Kimberlee Green (Swifts) – 19 votes
Jo Harten (Magic) – 19 votes
3.         Tegan Caldwell (Vixens) – 18 votes
4.         Erin Bell (Thunderbirds) – 17 votes
5.         Romelda Aiken (Firebirds) – 15 votes
6.         Caitlin Bassett (Fever) – 14 votes
Susan Pratley (Swifts) – 14 votes
8.         Madi Robinson (Vixens) – 13 votes
Mwai Kumwenda (Tactix) – 13 votes
10.       Maria Tutaia (Mystics) – 12 votes
Jhaniele Fowler-Reid (Steel) – 12 votes