By Melanie Whelan
MINER Ken Horton has confirmed as a South East Australian Basketball League most valuable player favourite.
Horton collected his third SEABL player of the week honour with starring roles in Ballarat Miners' wins against Bendigo and Brisbane at the weekend.
The GMHBA Miners, sizing up their first potential play-offs since 2006, boast five of the league men's weekly awards in 15 rounds played this season.
Fellow American Roy Booker claimed two of the accolades before he was ruled out with a leg injury in late June.
Horton has stepped up to lead the charge in a major way, leading the league rebounds with a 13.4 average per game and chalking up 17 double-doubles from his 20 games.
This week, Horton reinforced his reputation for tearing games apart.
He impressed Bendigo Braves fans in a 29-point, 14 rebound game on the road Friday night and proved a smashing success - even literally with a wayward lob -against Brisbane at the MARS Minerdome on Saturday when he made 25 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
In the absence of Booker, Miners teammates have stepped up their games with the like of Nathan Sobey and Liam Gibcus offering strong scoring support at the weekend.
This depth and exciting talent is making the Miners a particularly dangerous outfit.
The Miners have another big assignment on Sunday in hosting NW Tasmania, which is ranked second in the SEABL south conference.
Horton also earned player of the week status in weeks eight and 13, the latter in a rare club double with Ballarat Rush's Steph Cumming a fortnight ago.