NEW YORK – Sioux Falls Skyforce forward DeAndre Liggins has been named the 2015-16 NBA Development League Defensive Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s 19 head coaches. This is the second such honor for Liggins, who also earned the award in 2013-14 with Sioux Falls.
Liggins (6-6, 204, Kentucky) played in 34 games (33 starts) for Sioux Falls this season, anchoring a Skyforce defense that held opponents to league lows of 98.1 points per game and 98.5 points per 100 possessions. The Skyforce allowed 96.0 points per 100 possessions when Liggins was on the court, giving him the league’s best individual defensive rating. Sioux Falls’ opponents shot only 44.1 percent from the field, the second-lowest mark in the NBA D-League.
Liggins tied for second in the NBA D-League with 2.1 steals per game. He also averaged 13.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in 38.4 minutes.
A 2016 NBA D-League All-Star, Liggins helped the Skyforce to an NBA D-League-record 40 wins and the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the playoffs. The team swept the Westchester Knicks during the Conference Semifinals and currently leads the Canton Charge 1-0 in the Conference Finals.
A three-year contributor at Kentucky, Liggins was selected in the second round (53rd pick overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. He has played in 57 NBA games, making appearances with Orlando, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat. He owns NBA career averages of 1.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 7.1 minutes.
Liggins will be presented with the Defensive Player of the Year Trophy on Sunday, April 17 prior to Game 2 of the NBA D-League Eastern Conference Finals. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
All-Time NBA D-League Defensive Players of the Year:
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)
Stefane 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)
The NBA Development League is the NBA’s official minor league, preparing players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 19 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2015-16 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. An all-time high 38 percent of all NBA players at the end of the 2014-15 season boasted NBA D-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 D-League Cares programs. Fans can watch all NBA D-League games on nbadleague.com.
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