The Adelaide 36ers’ Anthony Drmic, who led all rookies in scoring and rebounding, has won the 2016-17 NBL Rookie of the Year Award, announced tonight at the NBL MVP Awards Night held at Peninsula, Docklands, in Melbourne.
Drmic becomes the fourth 36ers player to win the award, joining Mike McKay (1985), Chris Blakemore (1993) and Aaron Bruce (2009).
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.
Drmic received a total of 41 votes to win the Award.
Rounding out the top three in the voting were the New Zealand Breakers’ Shea Ili (37 votes) and the Brisbane Bullets’ Matt Kenyon (21 votes).
Drmic appeared in 27 games for the 36ers and played an important role off the bench, averaging 14 minutes per game. The 198cm shooting guard averaged 5.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, connecting on 45.2 percent of his field goal attempts.
Over the course of the season, Drmic established himself as one of the 36ers’ most versatile and effective defenders as well as an excellent rebounder.
Offensively, the 24-year-old broke out in Adelaide’s Round 5 loss in Perth, splashing 4 three-pointers on his way to a career-high 17 points. He matched that total in Round 19, hitting 5-of-6 threes in a road loss to Cairns.
The sharpshooter grew in confidence throughout his rookie campaign, averaging 8.5 points and 4.2 rebounds over Adelaide’s final 10 games.
Drmic, whose older brother, Frank, won an NBL championship with the South East Melbourne Magic in 1996, signed a two-year deal with Adelaide last offseason after finishing his collegiate career as Boise State University’s all-time three-point record holder.
Drmic will now turn his attention to the upcoming Swisse NBL Finals, with his team set to battle the Illawarra Hawks in a best-of-three semi-final series. Game one tips off at 7:30pm (AEDT) onThursday February 16 at Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide.
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
2017 – Anthony Drmic, Adelaide 36ers