Grand Rapids Drive’s Landry Nnoko named 2017-18 NBA G League Defensive Player of the Year

NEW YORK – Grand Rapids Drive center Landry Nnoko has been named the 2017-18 NBA G League Defensive Player of the Year.  He earned the honor in a vote by the league’s 26 head coaches and general managers.

Nnoko (6-10, 250, Clemson) ranked second in the NBA G League in rebounds per game (11.5) and fourth in blocked per game (2.06).  He anchored a Drive defense that finished third in the league in opponents’ points per game (102.8), fourth in defensive rating (102.5) and fifth in opponents’ field goal percentage (44.5).

In his first NBA G League season, Nnoko averaged 14.7 points in 49 games and tied for second in double-doubles with 27.  Nnoko helped the Drive to a franchise-best 29-21 record and the team’s first playoff berth.  The fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, Grand Rapids lost to Raptors 905 in the first round of the postseason.

Born in Cameroon, Nnoko played with the Detroit Pistons during the 2017 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and the 2017 NBA preseason.  A four-year player at Clemson, Nnoko earned Atlantic Coast Conference All-Defensive Team honors as a senior in 2015-16.

Alex Caruso, a two-way player for the Los Angeles Lakers and South Bay Lakers, was the runner-up in Defensive Player of the Year voting.  South Bay’s Demarcus Holland finished third.


All-Time NBA D-League Defensive Players of the Year:

Landry Nnoko (Grand Rapids Drive, 2017-18)
Edy Tavares (Raptors 905, 2016-17)
DeAndre Liggins (Sioux Falls Skyforce, 2015-16)
Aaron Craft (Santa Cruz Warriors, 2014-15)
DeAndre Liggins (Sioux Falls Skyforce, 2013-14)
Stefhon Hannah (Santa Cruz Warriors, 2012-13)
Stefhon Hannah (Dakota Wizards, 2011-12)
Chris Johnson (Dakota Wizards, 2010-11)
Greg Stiemsma (Sioux Falls Skyforce, 2009-10)
Brent Petway (Idaho Stampede, 2008-09)
Stephane Lasme (Los Angeles D-Fenders, 2007-08)
Mouhamed Sene (Idaho Stampede, 2007-08)
Renaldo Major (Dakota Wizards, 2006-07)
Derrick Zimmerman (Austin Toros, 2005-06)
Derrick Zimmerman (Columbus Riverdragons, 2004-05)
Karim Shabazz (Charleston Lowgators, 2003-04)
Mikki Moore (Roanoke Dazzle, 2002-03)
Jeff Myers (Greenville Groove, 2001-02)


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.