Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Highly Decorated Sioux Falls Skyforce

April 20, 2010

While the season may have not ended the way they planned, the Sioux Falls Skyforce earned their fair share of awards and accolades during the 2009-2010 season. Clinching a playoff berth as the fourth overall seed, they were set to make a postseason push before being derailed by the Tulsa 66ers in the opening round. Nevertheless, various Skyforcers earned honorable awards throughout the season, making Sioux Falls one of the most decorated D-League teams this season.

It all began with F Reggie Williams, who eventually was called-up by the Golden State Warriors for his stellar play. During his stint in the D-League, Williams represented the Skyforce with leadership and command as he earned Performer of the Week and Performer of the Month awards in Sioux Falls. Not to mention, his election to the NBA D-League All-Star game was another notch on his belt.

Upon Williams' departure, F Alexander Johnson stepped up and took the leadership role on the team. Following in Williams' footsteps, Johnson earned the Performer of the Month award for the month of March. Averaging a double-double for the season, he began to dominate the D-League on a nightly basis. For his efforts, he was called up by the Houston Rockets. That made two Skyforcers that were rewarded for their impressive performances at the minor league level.

Having lost Williams and Johnson, Sioux Falls was left without their two top players entering the playoffs. That's when C Greg Stiemsma came in. While not as offensively talented as his two former teammates, Stiemsma made his mark on the defensive end of the court. For his league-best 3.6 blocks season average, along with other defensive intangibles, the Skyforce center earned the title of D-League Defensive Player of the Year. For that, he was also called-up to the NBA by the Minnesota Timberwolves near the end of the regular season.

Thus, the Skyforce ended their year on a high note with all the commendable awards that they earned during the season. Next season will bring its own share of pleasant surprises for Sioux Falls as they continue to develop quality basketball talent year in and year out.

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