A couple of new players put their hands up for the Rookie of the Week Award during Round 7 of the NBL.
Dyson King-Hawea (Waikato Pistons) and Tohi Smith-Milner (Super City Rangers) both made valuable contributions for their respective teams during the round – must be the week of the hyphenated surname.
King-Hawea has worked his way into the Pistons rotation, earning increased minutes playing in the three spot. Last Friday he played 23 minutes against the Sharks in Southland, shooting 3 from 7 from the field as he accumulated 9 points and 7 rebounds.
Pistons swing man Zac Carter fouled out in the defeat against the Sharks but stayed on court for a big chunk of the overtime win against the Nuggets. His collective numbers from the two games weren’t massive, 18pts/10 rebounds, but his long three in overtime helped the Pistons steal a valuable away win in Dunedin.
18-year-old Smith-Milner scored with his first touch for the Rangers and is a good addition to their forward stocks for the second half of the season. Just back from a couple of months in the US, a trim looking Smith-Milner created a tidy stat line in the 112-97 win against the Rams, 10pts/5rebs/3 assists.
In the same game Richie Edwards (Canterbury Rams) worked hard for his 12 points but needed 16 shots to reach double figures. He put up 18 shots the night before against Taranaki Mountain Airs as he accumulated 18 points – not his two most efficient performances of the season.
Finn Delaney was once again prominent for the Nelson Giants even though they came up short, 82-77 against the table topping Hawks in the opening game of the round. Phill Jones was playing his record equaling 361st NBL game but a man 22 years his junior made his own mark in the game. Delaney scored a career high 19 points (8/15fg’s), added 6 rebounds and 2 steals.
Special mention to the new boys with those long family names, Tohi and Dyson but it is Finn Delaney with a career high night who takes the NBL Rookie of the Week award for the second week in a row.