Former LSU All-American Ben Simmons was named the NBA’s 2017-18 Rookie of the Year at the league’s award ceremonies Monday night, following his first year of action in the league.
Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, missed the entire 2016-17 season with a foot injury, but he returned to the floor in dominant fashion this past season, averaging 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds per game in 81 contests, helping lead the 76ers to the second round of the playoffs.
“I’d like to thank my family … my teammates, my great coach and the city of Philadelphia for really embracing me.”#HereTheyCome x #NBAAwards pic.twitter.com/uR9GSdScQS
— * – Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 26, 2018
Among Simmons’ highlights from his rookie season was a playoff triple-double, the first by a rookie since Magic Johnson in 1980. He also joined Johnson and Oscar Robertson as the only rookies to ever record 1,000 points, 500 assists, and 500 rebounds.
Simmons follows in the footsteps of fellow ex-Tiger Shaquille O’Neal, who claimed the award in 1993. He also teams with former teammate Antonio Blakeney, the G-League Rookie of the Year, as the first duo from the same school to earn both Rookies of the Year honors in the same season.
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