Australian Diamonds and West Coast Fever star Caitlin Bassett has become the first shooter to win the Liz Ellis Diamond at the 2015 Australian Netball Awards.
Bassett was crowned Australian netball’s Player of the Year after spearheading the Fever to their maiden ANZ Championship Finals Series appearance and the Australian Diamonds to a third consecutive Netball World Cup victory and Constellation Cup title.
The 27-year-old, who became the first Western Australian netballer to surpass 50 international Test appearances during the World Cup, has enjoyed a career best season in the circle, finishing the year with 964 goals at 89 per cent accuracy across the domestic and international stages.
Bassett makes history by becoming the first shooter to claim Australian netball’s highest individual honour, the Liz Ellis Diamond, previously won by midcourters and defenders since the award’s inception in 2008. The Western Australian also picked up Australia’s International Player of the Year.
Defender Sharni Layton was crowned Australia’s ANZ Championship Player of the Year after helping the NSW Swifts to their first ANZ Championship Grand Final since the inaugural year in 2008.
Layton, who was named in the Foxtel ANZ Championship All-Star team for the first time in 2015, finished the ANZ Championship season as the top defender with a league high 49 intercepts, 112 deflections, 85 gains and 36 defensive rebounds in a break out year.
Queensland Firebirds premiership coach Roselee Jencke won the ANZ Championship Coach of the Year while recently retired Sharon Kelly was honoured with the ANZ Championship Umpire of the Year in her final year.
Australian coach Lisa Alexander was crowned the Joyce Brown Coach of the Year after leading the Diamonds to an 11th Netball World Cup title in front of a world record crowd at Allphones Arena in Sydney and a successful Constellation Cup defence.
Netball administrator Pam Smith was awarded the Service Award. The Netball Australia board member and former chief executive has led or been a strong contributor to some of the most significant changes in the sport’s evolution from its amateur status.
Australia’s first Aboriginal representative Marcia Ella-Duncan, who made 18 international appearances in the green and gold, and iconic former Diamonds coach Norma Plummer were formally inducted into the Australian Netball Hall of Fame.
South Australian rising star Kate Shimmin was awarded the Australian Netball League (ANL) Player of the Year.
2015 Australian Netball Awards winners:
Liz Ellis Diamond: Caitlin Bassett
Australian International Player of the Year: Caitlin Bassett
Australian ANZ Championship Player of the Year: Sharni Layton, NSW Swifts
AIS Australian ANZ Championship Coach of the Year: Roselee Jencke, Queensland Firebirds
Australian ANZ Championship Umpire of the Year: Sharon Kelly
Australian Netball League Player of the Year: Kate Shimmin, Southern Force
Joyce Brown Coach of the Year: Lisa Alexander, Australian Diamonds
Service Award: Pam Smith
Australian Netball Hall of Fame Inductions: Marcia Ella-Duncan (athlete), Norma Plummer (general)