Former LSU Hoops Star, Simmons, Named All-NBA Rookie
BATON ROUGE – Former LSU national Freshman of the Year Ben Simmons, now of the Philadelphia 76ers, was one of two players unanimously selected to the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie First Team after receiving first-place votes on all 100 ballots from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell was also named on all 100 ballots.
Simmons is the first member of the All-Rookie team for an LSU player since Marcus Thornton was selected to the team in the 2009-10 team.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (99 First Team votes) fell one vote shy of joining Mitchell and Simmons as a unanimous selection to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. The First Team also features Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (93 First Team votes) and Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (76).
Mitchell, Simmons and Tatum are the three finalists for the 2017-18 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year award. The winner will be revealed at the 2018 NBA Awards presented by Kia on Monday, June 25 on TNT (8 p.m. CT). The second annual NBA Awards, honoring this season’s top performers, will take place at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.
Two former LSU players – Bob Pettit in the 1954-55 season and Shaquille O’Neal in the 1992-93 season – have previously been named NBA Rookie of the Year.
The NBA All-Rookie Second Team consists of Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks forward/center John Collins, Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson and Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr.
Simmons averaged 15.8 points per game, 8.2 assists, 8.1 rebounds and 1.73 steals a game. Simmons joined Oscar Robertson (1960-61) as the only rookies in NBA history to average at least 15.0 points, 8.0 assists and 8.0 rebounds per game. A four-time Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, the Australian native led rookies in rebounding, assists and steals average while helping the 76ers (52-30) finish with the third-best record in the East.
In his one season at LSU (2015-16), Simmons averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.79 assists per game in earning the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year award from the United States Basketball Writers Association. Simmons was a first-team All-America selection by the USBWA and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
The NBA voting panel selected five players for the First Team and five players for the Second Team at any position. Players received two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.