Mackay Meteor Shaun Bruce flies high for a shot.
Mackay Meteor Shaun Bruce flies high for a shot. Chris Lees

Sportsperson of the year voting: Shaun Bruce

Basketball: He may be a Victorian native, but Shaun Bruce made a huge mark on Mackay basketball in 2017.

After signing with the Brisbane Bullets for the 2016/17 season, Bruce started his year in style in January, scoring a season-high 13 points in an 80-77 loss against Melbourne United.

He finished his NBL season averaging 10 points over his final seven games, before returning to the Mackay Meteors in February.

Bruce's season with the Meteors was nothing less than spectacular, as he helped drive the side to the 2017 Queensland Basketball League (QBL) grand final series after the side finished the regular season in second place on the ladder with a 14-3 record.

Unfortunately for Bruce and the Meteors, the star guard went down with an ankle injury in game one of the series, which the Meteors lost 2-1.

Despite the anguish of missing out on a QBL title, Bruce received the top individual award after he was named the Most Valuable Player of the QBL for the 2017 season.

In 19 games, Bruce averaged 22.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game, after regular stand-out performances.

On May 13, he recorded a triple-double with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in a 99-86 win over the Townsville Heat. On June 10, he recorded his second triple-double of the season with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in a 113-93 win over the Brisbane Spartans, which saw him named Player of the Week for round seven. On July 2, he scored 34 points in a 103-85 win over the Cairns Marlins, and on July 29, he recorded 15 points and a season-high 21 assists in a 115-104 overtime win against the Sunshine Coast Phoenix. Bruce received another Player of the Week award for his efforts, this time for round 14.

Despite his ankle injury, Bruce returned for a second season with Brisbane for the 2017/18 season and represented the Bullets against NBA side the Phoenix Suns during the team's trip to the USA in October.



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