Windy City Bulls guard Antonio Blakeney today was named the 2017-18 NBA G League Rookie of the Year. The award, voted on by the league's 26 head coaches and general managers, recognizes the first-year professional who most significantly contributed to his team's success during the season.
"Antonio had an outstanding year with the Windy City Bulls. He took full advantage of the opportunity to develop his game and skill set," said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. "On behalf of the entire Bulls organization, we are thrilled to congratulate Antonio and are proud to see him being recognized among his rookie class."
"It was a pleasure having the opportunity to coach Antonio this year. He had a truly remarkable, record-breaking season. The Windy City coaching staff and I could not be happier for this well-deserved honor," said Windy City Bulls Head Coach Charlie Henry.
Blakeney (6-4, 197, LSU) averaged an NBA G League-high 32.0 points to go with 6.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.25 steals in 32 games for Windy City, which went 17-15 with him in the lineup. The 21-year-old guard, who signed a two-way contract with the Chicago Bulls last July after playing with the team at NBA Summer League 2017, shot 45.9 percent from the field and 86.2 percent from the free throw line.
A former teammate of the Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons at LSU, the undrafted Blakeney recorded seven games with at least 40 points for Windy City. He scored a season-high 46 points on 16-of-24 shooting from the field in a 145-107 victory over the Maine Red Claws on Dec. 6.
Blakeney has appeared in 19 games with the Chicago Bulls, averaging 7.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He has scored a season-high 16 points twice, most recently against the New York Knicks on March 19.
Chicago will present Blakeney with the NBA G League Rookie of the Year award on Wednesday, April 11 before its regular-season finale against the Detroit Pistons at the United Center.
South Bay Lakers forward Thomas Bryant and Texas Legends forward Johnathan Motley finished second and third, respectively, in Rookie of the Year voting.
All-Time NBA G League Rookie of the Year winners:
- 2017-18: Antonio Blakeney, Windy City Bulls
- 2016-17: Abdel Nader, Maine Red Claws
- 2015-16: Quinn Cook, Canton Charge
- 2014-15: Tim Frazier, Maine Red Claws
- 2013-14: Robert Covington, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
- 2012-13: Tony Mitchell, Fort Wayne Mad Ants
- 2011-12: Edwin Ubiles, Dakota Wizards
- 2010-11: DeShawn Sims, Maine Red Claws
- 2009-10: Alonzo Gee, Austin Toros
- 2008-09: Othyus Jeffers, Iowa Energy
- 2007-08: Blake Ahearn, Dakota Wizards
- 2006-07: Louis Amundson, Colorado 14ers
- 2005-06: Will Bynum, Roanoke Dazzle
- 2004-05: James Thomas, Roanoke Dazzle
- 2003-04: Desmond Penigar, Asheville Altitude
- 2002-03: Devin Brown, Fayetteville Patriots
- 2001-02: Fred House, Charleston Lowgators
About the NBA G League
The NBA's official minor league, the NBA G League prepares players, coaches, officials, trainers and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league's research and development laboratory. Featuring 26 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2017-18 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. An all-time-high 44 percent of all NBA players at the end of the 2016-17 season boasted NBA G League experience. 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 Cares programs. NBA G League games are available on ESPN's family of networks, Twitch, Eleven Sports and NBA TV.