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New Mexico's Dar Tucker Named Most Improved Player

NEW YORK, April 15, 2011 – New Mexico Thunderbirds guard Dar Tucker was today named the 2010-11 NBA Development League Most Improved Player, as voted on by the 16 NBA D-League head coaches. The award honors the player who demonstrated the most significant improvement on the court throughout the course of the season.

“You liken coaching to being an artist, and to have that type of canvas to work with … the possibilities were limitless,” said Thunderbirds coach Darvin Ham. “Dar bought into everything we were trying to do, stuck it out, worked through his weaknesses, and as the season wore on, his weaknesses became virtues. He was willing and able to explore his game in all aspects – not just scoring the ball.”

After playing the first game of the season with the Texas Legends, Tucker, a 6-4, 205-pound guard out of DePaul, joined the Thunderbirds via trade. He played in 49 games (24 starts) with New Mexico, averaging 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Tucker played in the NBA D-League last season with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, and averaged 12.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 46 games.

“Dar has always been a tremendous athlete, and his dedication to improving every aspect of his game this season was truly impressive,” said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations for the NBA D-League.

“Dar’s improvement falls directly in line with the NBA D-League’s core mission of developing elite basketball players, and I’m proud to congratulate Dar on his recognition.”

Tucker joins Mildon Ambres (Idaho, 2010) as the only NBA D-League players to earn this honor.