Courtney Sims, who appeared in 32 games with the Iowa Energy, has been named the NBA Development League’s Most Valuable Player for the 2008-09 season. Sims, a 6-11 center, who is currently in the middle of his second 10-day contract with the New York Knicks, was selected by a vote of the NBA D-League’s head coaches. NBA D-League president Dan Reed will present Sims with his award prior to the start of an upcoming Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.
Prior to his GATORADE Call-Up to the Knicks on March 23, Sims was leading the Energy with 22.8 points per game, while shooting 61 percent (277-of-458) from the field to go along with averages of 11.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 38.8 minutes. Twice called-up by the Phoenix Suns this season, Sims appeared in one game for Phoenix this season and has yet to appear in a game for New York.
“Courtney really has earned this honor, and I’m proud of him,” said Energy head coach Nick Nurse. “His development in the last 12 months has been outstanding – he has grown his offensive game, his competitiveness and his athleticism. The improvements in his game are a total credit to him for all of the hard work he’s put in over the last year and if he can improve as much in the next 12 months as he has in the last, I know he’ll be a great asset to the Knicks or any NBA team.”
The Co-MVP of the 2009 NBA D-League All-Star Game in Phoenix, Sims scored in double figures in all 32 of his games with the Energy, including 21 games with 20 or more points and six 30-plus outings, including twice notching a season-high 36-points. Additionally, Sims recorded 22 points/rebounds double-doubles and one triple-double when he opened the NBA D-League season with 22 points, 17 rebounds and an NBA D-League record-tying 11 blocks in a 113-101 road win over the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Twice honored during the season for his standout play, Sims earned NBA D-League Performer of the Week honors on Dec. 1 when he averaged a double-double of 22.5 points and 14.5 rebounds to go with 8.0 blocks while shooting 54 percent (13-of-24) from the. Later that month, Sims was named NBA D-League Player of the Month for December, as he averaged 24.3 points and 13.0 rebounds, shooting 62 percent (67-of-109) from the field, scoring in double figures in all six games and recording five double-doubles (points/rebounds) while leading Iowa to a 6-1 record during the month.
Sims appeared in three games for the Indiana Pacers during the 2007-08 season and has seen training camp, summer league and preseason action with the Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats since finishing his career at the University of Michigan. During his four-year career as a Wolverine, Sims averaged 10.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 131 games, earning a spot on the Big 10 Conference All-Freshman team in 2004.
“Courtney is a perfect example of what our league is about,” said Chris Alpert, vice president of basketball operations and player personnel for the NBA D-League. “He has utilized the NBA D-League as an opportunity to develop his skills and as a platform to showcase his ability to NBA teams. It’s nice to see his hard work is paying off and it’s encouraging to see our coaches recognize Courtney’s impact he has on his team’s success. Courtney has demonstrated all season that he is a top NBA prospect and we wish him the best with the New York Knicks.”
Sims joins Ansu Sesay (Greenville, 2002), current New Orleans Hornet Devin Brown (Fayetteville, 2003), Tierre Brown (Charleston, 2004), current Dallas Maverick Matt Carroll (Roanoke, 2005), Marcus Fizer (Austin, 2006), Randy Livingston (Idaho, 2007) and Kasib Powell (Sioux Falls, 2008) as winners of the NBA Development League Most Valuable Player Award.