NEW YORK, N.Y., Mar. 27, 2002
– Greenville Groove forward Ansu Sesay has been named the National Basketball Development League’s 2001-02 Most Valuable Player, it was announced by NBDL Executive Director Karl Hicks.
Sesay, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound small forward, finished the 2001-02 NBDL season ranked among league leaders in scoring (10th), assists (15th), field goals made (7th), free throws made (6th), blocks (15th) and minutes played (7th). Selected by Greenville in the second round (14th overall) of the NBDL’s Supplemental Draft, Sesay averaged 13.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 2.5 apg over 30.1 mpg in 45 games (41 starts) with the Groove. He also shot .441 (230-522 FGA) from the field and .741 (163-220 FTA) from the foul line.
Sesay tallied double-figure scoring totals in 36 of 45 games including 18 straight games to close out the NBDL regular season. He averaged a team-high 16.5 ppg on .469 (90-192 FGA) shooting with 3.7 rpg and 3.5 apg during the club’s league-high 15-game winning streak that helped propel the Groove to a share of the best record in the NBDL (36-20). Sesay also had season-highs of 23 points (three times), nine rebounds (Nov. 27) and nine assists (March 17) over the course of the NBDL’s inaugural season.
"This award illustrates how much respect Ansu has earned around the league because there are a lot of very talent players in the NBDL that could have won this award,” said Greenville Groove head coach Milton Barnes. “He did an outstanding job of staying focussed game-in and game-out demonstrating a level of consistency and maturity needed to reach the next level.”
“Ansu excels in so many phases of the game,” said NBDL Executive Director Karl Hicks. “His versatility earned him this award, and his presence on the court was key to Greenville’s successful season.”
Sesay, who was also named to the All-NBDL First Team last week and was the league’s Co-Player of the Month in February (with teammate Billy Thomas), played collegiately at the University of Mississippi. He was named Second Team All-American by the Associated Press and was the AP Southeastern Conference Player of the Year as a senior before being selected in the second round (30th overall) by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1998 NBA Draft.
His 1,428 points ranks eighth on the Ole Miss all-time scoring chart and he is only the second player in school history (along with former NBA player Elston Turner) to surpass 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 200 assists. He averaged 13.0 ppg and 6.4 rpg in 110 career games and helped lead the Rebels to back-to-back SEC Western Division titles and consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 1997 and 1998.
Other top votegetters for the NBDL’s MVP Award were former Columbus Riverdragons’ forward and current Los Angeles Clipper Tremaine Fowlkes, Mobile Revelers’ guard Isaac Fontaine and North Charleston Lowgators’ forward Sedric Webber.