Taipei, Jan. 7 (CNA) Basketball's T1 LEAGUE has named Kaohsiung Aquas Filipino-American playmaker Jason Brickman import player of the month for December.
Brickman's offensive excellence and command of the game powered the Aquas to the top of the league standings, going 6-1 since the opening round of the league's inaugural season on Nov. 27 and posting 13.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 2.7 steals for his first six games, T1 LEAGUE said in a statement Thursday.
"It's a great honor and I just want to keep on playing well, and hopefully our team can keep on playing well. I'm having a lot of fun in the T1 LEAGUE with the Aquas organization," Brickman said. "Just a great honor, I'm very thankful and grateful to get the award."
Brickman also thanked the T1 LEAGUE, Taiwan's newest professional basketball league, for the opportunity to play basketball again after a two-year break.
The 30-year-old point guard, whose resume includes stints playing professional basketball for clubs around the world, last played for the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the 2019-2020 season of the regional ASEAN Basketball League, which was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to playing with the Alab Pilipinas, he was on the roster of the Mighty Sports -- Go for Gold team that clinched the 2019 William Jones Cup in Taiwan after an 8-0 sweep at Xinzhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei.
He has also won over Taiwanese fans by putting on a skills clinic during the inaugural T1 LEAGUE season, which earned him kudos from the Aquas' coaching staff.
"I thank the coach for believing in me and making me feel confident on the court. And also, to my teammates for playing really well and allowing me to play my game on the court," Brickman said.
According to Aquas head coach Brendan Joyce, Brickman has all the qualities needed to play the point guard role.
The former assistant coach of the Australian Boomers and head coach of the Australian Opals said Brickman had been playing great basketball.
As a player, Joyce also played point guard in Oceania's National Basketball League (NBL), beginning in the league's inaugural season in 1979.
The current Aquas honcho racked up 289 appearances in the NBL, finishing second for Most Assists from 1985-87 and winning Most Assists in 1988.
"That playing experience, I think helps me coaching, because I not only understand the position, I know how that player feels," Joyce told CNA. "All the things that Jason feels or all the emotions, I have that because I played that position, I think I have an advantage coaching him."
Thanks to intimate knowledge of the positions where Brickman flourishes, Joyce has pushed Brickman to be more aggressive and find the right balance between making assists and scoring.
As a player who is known to make assists, there have been times when opponents do not think Brickman is going to try and score, Joyce said.
"I've tried to get him to identify that more often on the court and when those opportunities arise, take advantage of it. And that is what he is doing, but he's playing great basketball," Joyce said.