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Crocs young gun Nick Kay wins Rookie of the Year

[ooyala code="FldXgwMTE6ik_XCWdHkKIXLGOmKGXFDB" player_id="d5b993422b3e4b5ebd61f9e19ca2a6a5" width="500" height="400" auto="false"] The Townsville Crocodiles' Nicholas Kay, who led all rookies in scoring and rebounding, has won the 2015-16 NBL Rookie of the Year Award, the NBL announced today. Kay becomes just the second Crocodiles player to win the award, joining Brad Newley who was honoured in 2005. “I’m so honoured and privileged to have this award,” Kay said. “There’s a lot of thanks I want to give out to the Townsville community, the sponsors, SD (Shawn Dennis) and the guys.” For a player to be considered for Rookie of the Year they must be an unrestricted player who has never previously played professionally in the NBL or any other league (excluding in New Zealand). Each club had the opportunity to nominate one player for the Rookie of the Year Award with the Head Coach, one Assistant Coach and the Team Captain then voting on the Award in a 3-2-1 format (3 votes being indicative of the most deserving). Voters were not allowed to vote for players from their own team. Kay received a total of 53 votes to win the Award. Rounding out the top three in the voting were the Perth Wildcats’ Jarrod Kenny (38 votes) and Melbourne United’s Igor Hadziomerovic (8 votes). Kay appeared in all 28 games for the Crocs and ranked top-20 in the NBL for minutes played (28.11 per game). The 205cm forward/centre averaged 10.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He scored in double figures on 16 occasions, recorded 3 double-doubles and finished top in the League in offensive rebounding (3.0). “Shawn Dennis’ system is very easy for a four man; you set screens, you offensive rebound and you just play for the team,” Kay said. “I just tried to do my job as well as I could and thankfully it has paid off.” Originally from Tamworth, New South Wales, Kay’s best statistical game came in Townsville’s overtime loss to Illawarra in Round 18. The high-energy big man was a dominant force that night, chalking up a massive 24 points and 15 rebounds (including 10 offensive rebounds) in a game-high 42 minutes on the floor. Kay was elevated to the Crocs’ starting line-up midway through the season, something he believes helped to boost his confidence. “Having that opportunity to play and start just shows the confidence the guys and the coach have in you,” Kay said. “I couldn’t be more thankful for that.” Kay finished the year particularly strong, averaging 17 points and 10.6 rebounds across Townsville’s final three games.   All-Time NBL Rookie of the Year Award 1983 – Jamie Kennedy, Canberra Cannons 1984 – Andrew Gaze, Melbourne Tigers 1985 – Mike McKay, Adelaide 36ers 1986 – Steve Lunardon, Nunawading Spectres 1987 – Greg Hubbard, Illawarra Hawks 1988 – Shane Heal, Brisbane Bullets 1989 – Justin Withers, Illawarra Hawks 1990 – Justin Cass, Hobart Tassie Devils 1991 – Andrew Vlahov, Perth Wildcats 1992 – Lachlan Armfield, Canberra Cannons 1993 – Chris Blakemore, Adelaide 36ers 1994 – Sam Mackinnon, South East Melbourne Magic 1995 – John Rillie, Brisbane Bullets 1996 – Scott McGregor, Newcastle Falcons 1997 – Matthew Nielsen, Sydney Kings 1998 – David Smith, North Melbourne Giants 1999 – Damien Ryan, Canberra Cannons 2000 – Derek Moore, Sydney Kings 2001 – Axel Dench, Wollongong Hawks 2002 – Travis Lane, Sydney Kings 2003 – Gary Boodnikoff, Sydney Kings 2004 – Steven Markovic, West Sydney Razorbacks 2005 – Brad Newley, Townsville Crocodiles 2006 – Mark Worthington, Sydney Kings 2007 – Joe Ingles, South Dragons 2008 – Nathan Jawai, Cairns Taipans 2009 – Aaron Bruce, Adelaide 36ers 2010 – Jesse Wagstaff, Perth Wildcats 2011 – Ben Madgen, Sydney Kings 2012 – Anatoly Bose, Sydney Kings 2013 – Cameron Gliddon, Cairns Taipans 2014 – Tom Jervis, Perth Wildcats 2015 – Angus Brandt, Sydney Kings 2016 – Nicholas Kay, Townsville Crocodiles
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