NEW YORK – Sioux Falls Skyforce forward Jarnell Stokes has been named the 2015-16 NBA Development League Most Valuable Player in a vote by the league’s 19 head coaches.
Stokes (6-7, 250, Tennessee) played in 28 games (all starts) for the Skyforce this season, averaging team highs of 20.6 points and 9.3 rebounds. He began the season with the Miami Heat, playing 16 games on assignment in Sioux Falls, before being traded to New Orleans on Feb. 18 and waived by the Pelicans one day later. He joined the Skyforce’s roster permanently on Feb. 27.
A 2016 NBA D-League All-Star, Stokes shot an NBA D-League-best 66 percent from the field, scored in double figures 27 times and recorded 13 double-doubles. He led the team in scoring 14 times and rebounding 13 times. He was named the NBA D-League Player of the Week on Jan. 4 and earned Player of the Month honors for March and April.
Stokes’ Skyforce won an NBA D-League-record 40 games this season, securing the first seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Sioux Falls swept the Westchester Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and currently leads Canton 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Selected in the second round (35th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz, Stokes was immediately traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, with whom he played 19 games as a rookie during the 2014-15 season. Stokes was traded to Miami in November 2015 and appeared in five games for the Heat this season. In 26 career NBA games with Miami and Memphis, he has averaged 2.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 5.5 minutes.
Stokes will be presented with the NBA D-League MVP Trophy prior to the team’s Eastern Conference Finals game against the Charge on Sunday, April 17 in Sioux Falls. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
All-Time NBA D-League Most Valuable Player award winners:
2014:15: Tim Frazier (Maine Red Claws)
2013-14: Ron Howard (Fort Wayne Mad Ants) & Othyus Jeffers (Iowa Energy)
2012-13: Andrew Goudelock (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
2011-12: Justin Dentmon (Austin Toros)
2010-11: Curtis Stinson (Iowa Energy)
2009-10: Mike Harris (Rio Grande Valley)
2008-09: Courtney Sims (Iowa Energy)
2007-08: Kasib Powell (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
2006-07: Randy Livingston (Idaho Stampede)
2005-06: Marcus Fizer (Austin Toros)
2004-05: Matt Carroll (Roanoke Dazzle)
2003-04: Tierre Brown (Charleston Lowgators)
2002-03: Devin Brown (Fayetteville Patriots)
2001-02: Ansu Sesay (Greenville Groove)
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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