Berkefeld brilliance

February 10, 2024 BY

At the end of last month veteran Mount Gambier basketballer Simon Berkefeld led the Lakers to another SA Country Men’s title.

It might only be anecdotal – but the evergreen performer has a resume that would be unlikely to be eclipsed by any player across South Australia.

He added a third Frank Clark Award for the SA Country Basketball Senior Championships Men’s A Grade MVP, to go with his 2016 and 2019 accolades.

And given how he has dominated the State stage at multiple country championships, it is not surprising that his record in a raft of regional competitons is also peerless.

He was the 2009 Green triangle Basketball League MVP and named in the All Star line-up for four successive seasons from 2006-2009 and that stellar record has continued in the Victorian Country Basketball League (CBL).

He was the competition MVP in the 2019/202 season; named the best player in the grand final in 2012/13; 2013/14; 2015/16 and 2019/20, as well as being named in the All Sar Five twice – his MVP season and the 2022/23 competition.

Early doors he was also a scoring machine, leading the league in points scored in 2011/12 and for the next two seasons.

Then there is Berkefeld’s local record in Basketball Mount Gambier competitions with his first A Grade MVP coming in the summer season of 2005/06 and since then until last year’s winter season, when he took home the top individual honour, he has never gone more than three seasons without taking the top award.

Not surprisingly his run of A Grade Men’s awards were kickstarted even earlier than that initial 2005/06 MVP when he took home the Bill Cook Memorial Award for the best junior player competing in the A Grade competition in the Winter of 2003; Summer 2003/04 and the Winter of 2004.

Berkefeld has 20 season MVP accolades including that 2005/06 inaugural award, including a run of seven from Summer 2009/10 through to Summer 2012/13, with his brother Matt ending the run with victory in the 2013 Winter MVP Award.

The Berkefeld talent pool can be traced back to mum Vicki, who was a talented basketballer who represented Mount Gambier with distinction as a junior and senior and also represented SA Country at the Under 18 National Championships.

And while the talent is undeniable, Berkefeld brings a passion for the sport and the same commitment he brings to all that sports in which he has excelled, including football.

Local basketball icon Beth Serle has had a front row seat to the Simon Berkefeld show at all levels of competition.

“He as undoubted outstanding natural athletic ability,” Beth said. “Simon has a team first approach to all games and leads by example on court. He is never satisfied with his performances and always strives to do better.

“Simon is shy, retiring, humble and genuinely uncomfortable when in the limelight.

“He shows a high degree of humility in his unbelievable successes, and equally gracious in defeat. These qualities stand him apart from the rest.”