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Egypt’s Abdel Nader named NBA D-League Rookie of the Year

Photo: Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette

Young Egyptian is the first internationally-born player to win the coveted award

Egyptian born Abdel Nader from the Maine Red Claws has been named the 2016-17 NBA Development League Rookie of the Year. The award, voted on by the league’s 22 head coaches, recognizes the first-year professional who most significantly contributed to his team’s success during the season.

Nader (6-7, Iowa State) averaged 21.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 40 games, propelling the Red Claws to a 29-21 record and the Eastern Conference’s second seed in the 2017 NBA D-League Playoffs. In addition to shooting 44.6 percent from the floor, the forward recorded a team-high 99 three-pointers.

“It means a lot to be the D-League Rookie of the Year,” said Nader. “It’s a testament to all of the hard work and time I put in during the off-season and in the season. It’s also a testament to my coaching staff and my teammates for putting me in this position.”

Nader led the Red Claws in scoring 16 times, logged five games with at least 30 points and posted three point-rebound double-doubles to help the Red Claws capture their third consecutive Atlantic Division title. The 23-year-old tallied 16 points, four rebounds and four assists in this year’s NBA D-League All-Star Game in New Orleans.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Nader is the first internationally-born player to be named NBA D-League Rookie of the Year and the third Red Claws player to earn the honor. Selected by the Boston Celtics with the 58th overall pick in NBA Draft 2016 presented by State Farm, the Celtics hold Nader’s Draft rights.

“I think I came down here to prove that I can get better and that I can play in the NBA,” said Nader.  And I think I’ve definitely done that throughout the year.”

Nader was presented with the 2016-17 NBA D-League Rookie of the Year trophy prior to the Red Claws’ Eastern Conference Finals game against Raptors 905 on Sunday (April 16) at the Portland Exposition Building in Portland, Maine.

All-Time NBA D-League Rookie of the Year winners

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 Development League
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 22 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2016-17 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 2015-16 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.  NBA D-League games are available on ESPN’s family of networks, Facebook Live and NBA TV.

Latest articles from the KingFut Team, covering Egyptian football in English from the National Teams to the Pharaohs Abroad.

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