MVPs from non-champion teams? Why not?
Published: February 22, 2008
Each Far East High School Class A Basketball Tournament awards ceremony held something in common -- players receiving MVP awards who played for teams that did not win championships.
Brandon Spencer was so honored from sixth-place Daegu American in the boys tournament. On the girls' side,Leyna Arbour has garnered the award in consecutive years for second-place International School of the Sacred Heart.
The debate has raged for years, ever since I began covering Far East tournaments in 1982, and Duane Paul of Yokota was passed over for Torey Bauer of Faith Academy. The argument? You guessed it --Faith won the championship.
There are always two sides to a coin:
-- One school of thought says the MVP should always come from the championship team, else they wouldn't be much of a player to start with.
-- On the other hand, many is the team that features more than one standout player; in fact, may field so many good complimentary players that it's hard to pick one standout.
And many is the MVP who has come from non-champion teams especially in the Girls Class A tournament. In addition to Arbour -- perhaps the best athlete in ISSH's history -- you have Melissa Calkins in 1994 for fifth-place Trinity Christian School, and Brieanna Carroll in 2002 for SEVENTH-place Pusan American School.
It could be argued that DODDS-Pacific needs to come up with fixed criteria for MVP selection(or Most Outstanding Player as some tournaments award). By the same token, no matter what criteria is implemented, it's always based on voting, which is always subjective.
Perhaps in the same manner that many have called this winter for standardization of tournament formats, particularly in wrestling, instead of leaving it up to host schools and tournament directors. There are good and bad there as well; sometimes,gym or fieldavailability or even billeting or food facility commitments might hamstring a tournament director.
As to the MVP debate, Ornauer's gauge is this: By strict definition, player most valuable to his or her team, regardless of finish. Else Andre Dawson would not have earned MVP honors for the last-place Chicago Cubs in 1987.
What does SportsBlog Nation think?