O’Bryant named D-League 'Peformer of the Week'

NAZ Suns standout averaged 24 points, 17 rebounds during 2-0 stretch

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Johnny O'Bryant, Northern Arizona Suns

PRESCOTT VALLEY — Averaging 24 points and 17 rebounds per game last week during a 2-0 stretch for the Northern Arizona Suns, Johnny O’Bryant was named NBA D-League Performer of the Week on Monday morning.

It is the first Performer of the Week award for O’Bryant, and the first for a Suns player in team history.

The former LSU standout earned the award thanks to back-to-back games with a double-double performance, the first coming Jan. 10 in a 94-88 win over Oklahoma City.

O’Bryant scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds, helping end a nine-game Suns losing streak against the league’s hottest team.

Against Grand Rapids on Jan. 14, O’Bryant scored 26 points on 7 of 17 shooting from the field, including four 3-pointers, and tied his career-high in rebounds with 17 in a 121-90 blowout over the Drive.

O’Bryant, a 6-foot-9, 257-pound center from Cleveland, Mississippi, leads the Suns with nine double-doubles this season, and is averaging 18 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game, while shooting at a 45.3 percent clip.

He is currently ranked 19th in the league’s weekly Prospect Watch list, which ranks the Top 25 call-up-eligible prospects for the NBA.

The Suns (12-10) currently sit second in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division, six games back of the Los Angeles D-Fenders (19-5).

NEXT UP

Northern Arizona is scheduled to participate in the annual 2017 NBA D-League Showcase, held today through Sunday, Jan. 22, in Toronto.

A record 14 games are set to be televised nationally, including networks ESPN and NBA TV. The Showcase is a chance for all NBA scouts and executives to watch D-League talent in one place every season.

The Suns open the Showcase today with Oklahoma City (16-9). Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. Northern Arizona will be televised on ESPN U on Friday when they play the Austin Spurs (9-15) at 4 p.m.

Northern Arizona does not return to the Prescott Valley Event Center until Wednesday, Feb. 1, when they host Salt Lake City at 6:30 p.m.

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is an associate sports editor for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Reach him by phone at 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.