Wed, Jan 15, 2014 - Page 20 News List

O’Bryant earns SBL Player of the Month award for December

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

Last month’s Player of the Month, Patrick O’Bryant of Taiwan Beer, attempts a shot against the Dacin Tigers in an undated photograph.

Photo Courtesy of the SBL

Last week, Patrick O’Bryant was selected as the Super Basketball League’s Player of the Month for December due to his outstanding effort and inside presence over an eight-game span last month.

The Iowa native, who played college ball at Bradley University before being drafted in the first round by the Golden State Warriors in 2006, has excelled in his latest role as a Taiwan Beer center.

His dominant style of play inside the paint has led him to post a league-best average of 21.3 points per game, while his keen instinct for the ball saw him record nearly three steals per game last month and make him a rare double threat on the court.

Members of the Basketball Writers’ Association were torn between honoring the US big man or fellow forward and teammate Liu Cheng, but O’Bryant ultimately edged Liu by a narrow 30-27 margin in one of the closest races yet for the monthly accolade.

“I’d like to thank my teammates, especially Liu Cheng, whose relentless desire to improve his game as inspired me a lot, for making [winning Player of the Month] possible,” the soft-spoken O’Bryant said upon learning that he had won the honor.

His late arrival to the league in November last year and some initial adjusting to the local style of play somewhat hindered the American’s ability to shine right away.

However, O’Bryant has now made a believer out of Taiwan Beer skipper Yen Chia-hua, with his performances earning him lofty praise from Yen.

“[O’Bryant’s] addition to our team, though it came several weeks later than we would’ve liked, has been critical to our success. We are definitely playoff contenders now,” Yen said, referring to the American joining the team two into the season.

With the former NBA star leading the Brew Crew on both ends of the floor, Yen should have a lot to look forward to with the season more than halfway over and his troops enjoying a two-game lead over the fourth-placed Yulon Luxgens ahead of the final week of play before the league takes a month-long break for the Lunar New Year.

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