NEW YORK, April 16, 2009 – Sioux Falls Skyforce forward Greg Stiemsma has been selected as the NBA Development League’s Defensive Player of the Year by a vote of the League’s 16 head coaches.
"Our organization is extremely happy for Greg," said Skyforce head coach Tony Fritz. "He did a great job of anchoring our defense and protecting the basket all year. He is one of the reasons we had such a successful season."
Stiemsma appeared in 45 games, 44 starts, for Sioux Falls during the regular season, averaging 8.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and an NBA D-League-best 3.6 blocks. He scored in double figures 24 times, recording 11 double-doubles and one triple-double, when he scored 20 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked 10 shots in a 107-105 victory over the Springfield Armor in Sioux Falls on Dec. 27, 2009.
In the 2010 NBA D-League postseason, Stiemsma played in all three of Sioux Falls’ games, averaging 15.0 points, 10.7 rebounds (fourth in the NBA D-League 2010 postseason) and an NBA D-League playoff-high 4.3 blocks in 31.0 minutes before Sioux Falls was eliminated by the Tulsa 66ers last week. Stiemsma earned a GATORADE Call-Up to the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 13.
“Greg worked hard on the defensive end of the floor all season long, displaying his determination and energy every night,” said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations and Player Personnel for the NBA D-League. “I’m pleased to see the coaches recognize his tremendous effort, and I congratulate Greg on the accomplishment.”
Stiemsma joins Brent Petway, (Idaho, 2008-09), Stephane Lasme (Los Angeles, 2007-08), Mouhamed Sene (Idaho, 2007-08), Renaldo Major (Dakota, 2006-07), Derrick Zimmerman (Austin, 2005-06; Columbus 2004-05), Karim Shabazz (Charleston, 2003-04), Mikki Moore (Roanoke, 2002-03) and Jeff Myers (Greenville, 2001-02) as winners of the NBA D-League’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.