FORMER Horsham basketballer Shane McDonald is the South East Australian Basketball League most valuable player for 2013.
McDonald, who now lives in Melbourne and plays for the Nunawading Spectres, split the MVP award with Sandringham Sabres centre John Pichon.
In his eighth season in the SEABL, McDonald had an outstanding year, averaging more than 17 points and a career-high 7.9 assists a game.
He said his wealth of experience in the league had helped him capture the award.
"You never go out to try and win individual-type awards but when something like that comes along you definitely accept it," he said. "It's a great league and it's an honour to be regarded as one of the better players in that league.
"My consistency was probably slightly better than it has been in previous years, which might be the reason I was so high up in the voting."
In addition to his career-high assist numbers, McDonald averaged almost five rebounds a game from the point-guard position.
He said he always made an effort to chase down loose balls and his high assist numbers meant the Nunawading offence was functioning well.
"A lot of it comes down to my team-mates knocking down shots, so it's a good statistic to have for the team," he said.
"With my rebounds as well, nine times out of 10 I'm the smallest guy on the court but I pride myself on trying to lead by example.
"Being captain of my team I realise what a big statistic rebounding is and often if you can win the rebounding, it goes a long way to winning a game." The Spectres fell to Mount Gambier Pioneers in the SEABL's south conference finals this year by just two points.
McDonald said it was a tough loss to take after a great season.
"It's really hard to reflect on the season as a whole just because it's such a disappointment getting so close to a conference championship and another crack at a national championship," he said.
"I felt we were one of the better teams in the league.
"We just didn't perform quite the way we wanted to at the business end of the season."
He said the Spectres' core group of players would likely remain at the club and make another run at the SEABL title next year.