NEW YORK, April 21, 2016 – Raptors 905 guard Scott Suggs has been named the recipient of the 2016 NBA Development League’s Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award, as voted on by the league’s 19 head coaches. The award honours the player who best represents the ideals of character and conduct on and off the court.
Suggs (6-6, 195, Washington) returned to the NBA D-League this season after playing a season in France. He played his rookie season for the Erie BayHawks during the 2013-14 season. This season he appeared in all 50 games averaging 18.0 points on 44.1 percent shooting to go with 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He scored at least 20 points in 19 games this season and was named to the East All-Star team at the 2016 NBA D-League All-Star game.
“Scott Suggs embodies everything that the Sportsmanship Award is all about,” said Raptors 905 general manager Dan Tolzman. “We try to put an emphasis on character when building both our NBA and D-League rosters and there was no better player to be the team captain in our inaugural 905 season than Scott. The Raptors organization is extremely proud to have Scott as a member of its family.”
Off the court, Suggs was a leader-by-example for his Raptors 905 teammates, playing an important role in the club’s public relations efforts in its inaugural season. In addition to being a prominent figure in team appearances at local schools and community groups throughout the season, Suggs was one of four Raptors 905 players to stay an extra week in Mississauga at the end of the regular season for the sole purpose of making additional school visits, speaking to students about the importance of education, goal setting and perseverance. Suggs also took the initiative on several occasions to address fans with pre-game thank you speeches and was a central presence in the club’s media engagement.
“It’s such an honour to receive this award,” said Suggs. “Just to be recognized by the entire league as a person who tries to exemplify good sportsmanship means a lot to me. But I couldn’t have been in this position without the help of the Raptors 905 organization. I truly believe this award represents not just myself, but all of Raptors 905, from GM Dan Tolzman, to head coach Jesse Mermuys, all the way down the line to our assistant coaches, trainers, equipment managers, interns, social media reps, etc. This sportsmanship award represents everyone involved in making Raptors 905 possible. So once again, thanks to each and every one of you.”
The name of the Sportsmanship Award was changed in 2006 to honour former NBA D-League, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks center Jason Collier, who passed away suddenly on October 15, 2005. Collier was a 2003-04 All-NBA D-League First Team selection as a member of the Fayetteville Patriots, but more importantly, he was a player and person who exemplified the qualities of a faithful teammate, husband, father, son, brother and friend. He was ready to begin his sixth NBA season at the time of his death.
All-Time Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award Winners:
2015-16: Scott Suggs (Raptors 905)
2014-15: Renaldo Major (Bakersfield Jam)
2013-14: Ron Howard (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
2012-13: Ron Howard (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
2011-12: Moses Ehambe (Iowa Energy)
2010-11: Larry Owens (Tulsa 66ers)
2009-10: Andre Ingram (Utah Flash)
2008-09: Will Conroy (Albuquerque Thunderbirds)
2007-08: Billy Thomas (Colorado 14ers)
2007-08: Roger Powell (Arkansas RimRockers)
2006-07: Ime Udoka (Fort Worth Flyers)