Bucks Sign Larry Sanders to Multi-Year Contract Extension
|PHOTOS: Sanders Press Conference|
The Milwaukee Bucks have signed Larry Sanders (6-11, 235) to a multi-year contract extension, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Sanders had a breakout year for the Bucks in 2012-13 when he posted career highs across the board with averages of 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game (2nd in the NBA).
"By combining his God-given ability with hard work and determination, Larry has developed into one of the top young defensive players in the league," said Hammond. "He is a very important part of what we are doing in Milwaukee, and we're excited to announce his contract extension."
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The 24-year-old center is entering his fourth year with the Bucks and owns career averages of 6.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Last season, he notched a team-leading 26 double-doubles, one of which was his first career triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and a franchise-record-tying 10 blocks at Minnesota on Nov. 30. Sanders and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only players in Bucks history with a 10-block game. He finished the season with 201 blocks – just the fourth 200-block season in Bucks history and the first since Elmore Smith in 1975-76 – and had a string of 40 consecutive games with at least one blocked shot from Nov. 28 – March 4, the longest streak by a Buck in the last 25 years. Beginning with the 10 blocks at Minnesota, Sanders swatted 22 shots over a three-game stretch from Nov. 30 - Dec. 3 which stands as the most blocks in a three-game span in Bucks history, and he blocked four or more shots in five consecutive games from Jan. 2 - 9, which was the longest such streak since Abdul-Jabbar had a five-game streak in 1973.
Sanders, the 15th-overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, finished third in Most Improved Player voting after the 2012-13 season and earned the attention of USA Basketball with his play last year. He was invited to attend the 2013 USA Basketball Men's National Team Mini-Camp in Las Vegas in July.
Community involvement is a priority of Sanders' commitment to Milwaukee. He is active in supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee and earned the organization's Community Champion Award in March after donating a scoreboard to the Pieper-Hillside location. He has also distributed Thanksgiving meals at the House of Peace, donated toys to patients at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, tickets to all Bucks home games for Milwaukee youth and community groups, and he hosts an annual "Larry Sanders Basketball Camp" for kids in his hometown of Port St. Lucie, Fla.