NEW YORK, April 19, 2012 – Austin Toros forward Eric Dawson was named the 2012 NBA Development League’s Impact Player of the Year, as voted on by the NBA D-League’s 16 head coaches. Given to a player who joins an NBA D-League team after Dec. 8, the Impact Player of the Year award honors an athlete who made the greatest contribution following his in-season acquisition.
Returning to Austin for his fifth season, Dawson led the Toros to nine wins in his first 10 games back with the team. In 29 games with the Toros, Dawson averaged 17.2 points and 10.7 rebounds, shooting 56 percent from the field. He eclipsed previous career highs that he set in the 2008-09 season when he averaged 10.4 points and 6.6 rebounds. With Dawson in the lineup, the Toros put together a record of 19-10, helping them to the league’s second best record at 33-17 going into the 2012 NBA D-League Playoffs presented by BBVA.
Dawson, a 6-9, 250-pound from Midwestern, earned received two GATORADE Call-ups this season, both to the San Antonio Spurs. He made his NBA debut on Feb. 21, versus Portland and scoring nine points on 4-for-8 shooting to go along with six rebounds, one block and one steal.
“Eric hit the ground running and immediately had a significant impact in Austin after he re-joined the Toros,” said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations and Player Personnel for the NBA D-League. “His role didn’t go unnoticed on the NBA stage as he received two GATORADE Call-ups. I’m thrilled to congratulate Eric on another impactful season in Austin.”
Dawson joins Jeff Adrien (Rio Grande Valley, 2011) Brian Butch (Bakersfield, 2010), Eddie Gill (Colorado, 2009) and Washington Wizards guard Morris Almond (Utah, 2008) as players who have received the NBA D-League’s Impact Player of the Year award.