Stokes, Craig Earn Late Season Plaudits for Skyforce
The final month of the season was fruitful for the top team in the NBADL. Wins bring awards for the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Firstly, Sioux Falls Skyforce head coach Dan Craig has been named the NBA Development League Coach of the Month for games played in March and April. Secondly, Jarnell Stokes was honored with the Player of the Month achievement.
It’s the third Coach of the Month honor this season for Craig, who also won in December and January. For Stokes it is the first Player of the Month designation, but he was named Performer of the Week back in early January.
Craig guided Sioux Falls to an 11-2 record to cap off a historic 40-10 season, the best record in NBA D-League history, surpassing the 38-12 mark by the Los Angeles D-Fenders in 2011-12. They defeated the Canton Charge three times in March, including on back-to-back nights on March 18-19 to clinch the Central Division title and the number one overall seed in the Eastern Conference. The wins came during a nine-game winning streak ranging from March 4-25.
Stokes (6-9, 255, Tennessee) averaged 20.8 points on 65.5 percent shooting to go with 8.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals. On March 14, Stokes recorded a double-double with a season-high 29 points and 12 rebounds in a 107-99 win over the Austin Spurs. On March 19, he tallied 19 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals in 116-109 victory over the Canton Charge
Craig, in his first season as head coach for Sioux Falls, has been a part of the Miami Heat organization for 13 seasons. Craig has been the head coach of Miami’s NBA Summer League teams the past three years. Last season, he served as Assistant Coach/ Director of Player Development for the Heat.
Stokes, who is in his second NBA D-League season, has appeared in 26 games with the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat since being selected with the 35th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. He finished the regular season with averages of 20.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals.