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Maine's DeShawn Sims Named NBA D-League Rookie of the Year

NEW YORK, April 15, 2011 – Maine Red Claws forward DeShawn Sims was selected by the NBA D-League’s 16 head coaches as the NBA Development League’s 2010-11 Rookie of the Year. Joining Sims on the NBA D-League’s inaugural All-Rookie First Team are Tulsa 66ers guard Jerome Dyson, Springfield Armor guard Scottie Reynolds, Iowa Energy forward Marqus Blakely, who ended the season with the Houston Rockets, and Rio Grande Valley Vipers center Patrick Sullivan.

The All-Rookie Second Team features Tulsa guard Elijah Millsap, Maine guard Jamar Smith, Erie BayHawks forward Tasmin Mitchell, Rio Grande Valley forward Mouhammad Faye and Springfield center Chas McFarland. Both All-Rookie teams are also voted on by the NBA D-League’s head coaches.

“I am enormously proud of DeShawn Sims for being named Rookie of the Year, but not the least bit surprised,” said Maine Red Claws President and General Manager Jon Jennings. “From the moment he stepped on the court for us, he has been a leader and brings an incredible determination and competitiveness to the floor every single night. The obstacles DeShawn has been forced to overcome in his life have been well-documented, and they are things that would cause a lesser man to choose another path. That determination earned him his way to the NBA D-League All-Star Game as a rookie, and it brought him the Rookie of the Year trophy. There is no question, in my mind, that his next step is the NBA.”

In 48 games (45 starts) for Maine, Sims averaged 20.3 points, which ranked fourth in the NBA D-League and first among rookies, to go along with 7.7 rebounds. Sims, a 6-8, 225-pound forward out of Michigan, shot 50.6 percent from the field this season, scored in double figures 41 times and recorded 13 double-doubles. Sims also participated in this year’s NBA D-League All-Star game in Los Angeles, scoring 20 points and grabbing six rebounds in 20 minutes for the victorious East All-Stars.

“DeShawn’s performance this season was certainly impressive, and not just for a first-year player,” said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Operations and Player Personnel for the NBA D-League. “I congratulate DeShawn, as well as the All-Rookie First and Second Team selections, on having such promising starts to their professional careers.”

Sims, who also earned All-NBA Development League Third Team honors, joins Cleveland Cavaliers guard Alonzo Gee (Austin, 2009-10), Washington Wizards guard Othyus Jeffers (Iowa, 2008-09), Blake Ahearn (Dakota, 2007-08), Golden State Warriors forward Louis Amundson (Colorado, 2006-07), Detroit Pistons guard Will Bynum (Roanoke 2005-06), James Thomas (Roanoke 2004-05), Desmond Penigar (Asheville, 2003-04), Devin Brown (Fayetteville, 2002-03) and Fred House (Charleston, 2001-02) as winners of the annual award.

2010-11 NBA DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE ALL-ROOKIE FIRST TEAM

Guard: Jerome Dyson, Tulsa 66ers
Guard: Scottie Reynolds, Springfield Armor
Forward: DeShawn Sims, Maine Red Claws
Forward: Marqus Blakely*, Iowa Energy
Center: Patrick Sullivan, Rio Grande Valley Vipers

2010-11 NBA DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE ALL-ROOKIE SECOND TEAM

Guard: Elijah Millsap, Tulsa 66ers
Guard: Jamar Smith, Maine Red Claws
Forward: Tasmin Mitchell, Erie BayHawks
Forward: Mouhammad Faye, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Center: Chas McFarland, Springfield Armor

* Currently with an NBA team.