Ontario Basketball is please to announce that Deanna Kerkhof (Wallaceburg) and Tyler Ennis (Brampton) have been voted by the basketball community as female and male 2012 Ontario Basketball Baller of the Year award recipients respectively.
"Of the various forms of recognition Ontario Basketball presents, the Baller of the Year symbolizes the opinion of the public," said Michael T. Cvitkovic, executive director, Ontario Basketball. "Deanna and Tyler had extraordinary years on the court and their fans responded by voting them to win this award. They are to be congratulated on their efforts and thanked for representing Ontario so well. The basketball community is passionate and well represented online. Thank you to the thousands who participated again in choosing the Ballers of the Year."
Deanna Kerkhof is entering her senior year with the Northeastern Huskies, looking to end her collegiate career on a high note. Last season, Kerkhof started in 22 of 27 games, leading the team in scoring, averaging 14.4 points and earning the All-CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) Third Team honours. Kerkhof won the OBA award with 43.1 per cent of votes, while runner-up and 2011 recipient, Natalie Achonwa, received 37.6 per cent of the votes. Kerkhof wore the Team Ontario uniform in 2006.
Tyler Ennis is considered to be one of the top point guards in his class at his position. Last year, Ennis averaged 15.2 points, 7.1 assists and three steals for St. Benedict’s Prep, was a member of the 2012 Canadian Junior Men’s National team and was awarded 2011-12 New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year. Earlier this summer, he committed to Syracuse University starting in the fall of 2013. In a narrow race in the male category, Ennis received 17.6 per cent of votes, while Andrew Wiggins received 15.4 per cent. He was a member of the Team Ontario provincial program in 2011.
As part of Ontario Basketball’s organizational priorities to promote and invest more in its people, the Baller of the Year Award is presented annually to the male and female athletes who garner the most votes in an online poll as the top basketball players from Ontario. The award coincides with the Ontario Basketball Awards Gala on November 3, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Yorkdale in Toronto, in which more than 50 awards are presented to volunteer coaches, administrators and Ontario’s top athletes.
Last year’s inaugural award winners were Natalie Achonwa of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Kevin Pangos of Gonzaga University. This year, there were 10 male and 10 female athletes considered for the award. Candidates included first round NBA draft pick Andrew Nicholson and second round draft pick Kris Joseph, CIS Player of the Year Hannah Sunley-Paisley OCAA male and female player of the year Sandre Bascoe and Jovain Wilson, as well as many members of Canada’s national teams.
After 20 days and thousands of votes from all over the world, including opinions from Europe, South America and the United States, the public determined that Kerkhof and Ennis are the winners of the Baller of the Year Award.
Thank you for supporting Ontario's athletes.