By Marcus ChhanFollow @@MarcusChhan
The towering 7-foot former Villanova University man has enjoyed a stellar debut campaign in the ABL averaging 19.7 points, 14.5 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per game in the regular season for the Slammers.
He also enjoyed a monster game against the Westports Malaysia Dragons on February 2 where he scored 29 points, grabbed 27 rebounds, and blocked four shots in a 77-65 road win.
Tuesday's development follows swiftly from Monday's announcement by the ABL in naming San Miguel Beermen coach Leo Austria as Coach of the Year.
"It's an honour and blessing to be recognised by the ABL," Charles told FOX Sports.
"I've had great teachers throughout my playing career, since college with my coach Jay Wright at Nova up until now in the profressional ranks with [Slammers] coach Joe Bryant who have put a strong emphasis on defence and the intangibles."
"I'm truly grateful to receive the award."
The ABL revealed that other nominees in the Defensive Player of the Year category included Charles' teammate Froilan Baguion, Indonesia Warriors' forward Chris Daniels, Dragons' centre Gavin Edwards as well as Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers rebound king Rashad Jones-Jennings.
"While Christien Charles' statistical impact cannot be denied, the way he affects the game by his presence is really how he won this award," ABL chief executive officer, Anthony Macri explained in a press statement.
"His length and hustle change everything around the rim area for an opponent."
The selection process for the player awards began with ABL officials selecting nominees for each category based on statistics from the regular season. Nominees are required to have played in at least 16 games in order to be eligible. The list of nominees was then sent to each team. Votes were then cast based on a ranking system. The league collates the ballots to determine the winners.
Charles' high scoring production in the ABL this season makes him a contender to also scoop the league's World Import MVP award which is expected to be announced next week.
"I'm just focused on the Beermen now. If I get that award that would be awesome as well though. So many good players in this league," he said.
Charles will suit up for the Slammers on Tuesday in Bangkok for Game 3 of their best-of-five Semi-final series with San Miguel.
The series is currently locked up at 1-1 with Game 4 set for Thailand on Thursday.