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Featured News / February 13th, 2017

Best Sixth Man: Rotnei Clarke

Illawarra Hawks’ Rotnei Clarke is the winner of the 2016-17 NBL Best Sixth Man Award as the league’s best player in a reserve role, the NBL announced today.

Clarke becomes the third Hawks player to win the award, joining Adris Deleon (2013) and Kevin Tiggs (2014).

To be eligible for the Best Sixth Man Award, players had to have come off the bench in more games than they started.

Each club nominated one player for the Award with the Head Coach, one Assistant Coach and the Team Captain then voting 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.

Clarke, who was named NBL MVP in 2014, received a total of 46 votes to win the Award.

Rounding out the top three in the voting were the Adelaide 36ers’ Mitch Creek (37 votes) and the New Zealand Breakers’ Akil Mitchell (19 votes).

Clarke came off the bench in 18 of his 28 appearances and finished the season averaging 17.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He scored in double-figures in all but one game this season and led Illawarra in scoring as a reserve 11 times.

Assigned to a reserve role midway through the season, the 183cm guard quickly found his rhythm and established himself as Illawarra’s scoring punch off the bench. It’s a role he has grown accustomed to, having played as a reserve for Germany’s Telekom Baskets Bonn in 2015-16.

In his 10 games a starter, Clarke averaged 13.7 points per game on 39.5 percent shooting from the field and 31.7 percent from three-point range. Those numbers increased dramatically as a reserve, with Clarke averaging 19.3 points on 50.8 percent shooting from the field and 43.2 percent from deep in his 18 games off the bench.

Clarke will now turn his attention to the upcoming Swisse NBL Finals, with his Illawarra Hawks set to battle the Adelaide 36ers in a best-of-three semi-final series. Game one tips off at 7:30pm (AEDT) on Thursday 16 February at Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide.


All-Time NBL Best Sixth Man Award

1996 – Mike McKay, Brisbane Bullets

1997 – Ben Pepper, Newcastle Falcons

1998 – Jason Smith, South East Melbourne Magic

1999 – Bruce Bolden, West Sydney Razorbacks

2000 – Ben Knight, Townsville Crocodiles

2001 – Chris Anstey, Victoria Titans

2002 – Jamahl Mosely, Victoria Titans

2003 – Stephen Black, Perth Wildcats

2004 – Darryl McDonald, Melbourne Tigers

2005 – Brad Newley, Townsville Crocodiles

2006 – Stephen Hoare, Melbourne Tigers

2007 – Stephen Hoare, Melbourne Tigers

2008 – Dontaye Draper, Sydney Kings

2009 – Phill Jones, New Zealand Breakers

2010 – Erron Maxey, Gold Coast Blaze

2011 – Kevin Braswell, New Zealand Breakers

2012 – Jesse Wagstaff, Perth Wildcats

2013 – Adris Deleon, Wollongong Hawks

2014 – Kevin Tiggs, Wollongong Hawks

2015 – Cameron Tragardh, Cairns Taipans

2016 – Hakim Warrick, Melbourne United

2017 – Rotnei Clarke, Illawarra Hawks