Harris Earns MVP Award

Mike Harris (Photo Credit: Chris Covatta/NBAE/Getty Images)

April 19, 2010

MCALLEN, TEXAS - The NBA Development League announced today that Western Conference Champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers forward Mike Harris (6-6, 235, Rice) is the league’s Most Valuable Player.

“I’m excited, but still focused on the playoffs. Earning this award is all because of my teammates. It’s not an individual award, it’s a team award,” Harris said.

“I think it’s well deserved. There are a lot of good players in the league, but I don’t think there’s been another as impactful as Mike has been, and that says a lot about the year he’s had,” Vipers head coach Chris Finch said.

Harris will be presented with the award prior to tonight’s must-win playoff game against the Austin Toros at 7:30 p.m. at State Farm Arena.

“Mike Harris served as the catalyst for the Vipers’ success this season as he provided the team with high level talent, professionalism, toughness, experience and leadership. While Mike posted a historically productive NBA D-League season as one of the leading scorers and rebounders, his impact was primarily felt in leading the Vipers to their first Western Conference title and the team’s first playoff berth. His impressive individual numbers only tell a part of the story, but what he did in terms of winning for this team and organization will be remembered throughout and this is why, as an organization, we are proud to congratulate Mike Harris as the 2009-2010 NBA D-League MVP,” Vipers General Manager Gersson Rosas said.

In 34 games (31 starts) for the Vipers during the regular season, Harris averaged a league-leading 27.1 points to go with 10.5 rebounds (third in the league) while shooting 58.2% from the field (fifth in the league). Harris was the first-Viper to ever play in the NBA Development League All-Star Game. He earned NBA Development League Player of the Month for January and Performer of the Week twice this season. He earned two GATORADE Call-Ups to the Houston Rockets and one to the Washington Wizards. He is currently on assignment from the Rockets.

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are the NBA Development League affiliate of the NBA Houston Rockets. The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league and features 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA teams. 63 former NBA Development League players were on 2009-10 NBA start-of-season rosters, amounting to almost 15 percent of NBA players, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA Development League Cares programs. The NBA Development League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the season fans can watch all NBA Development League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.