Courtney Sims, who signed a second 10-day contract with the Phoenix Suns Friday, and Blake Ahearn, a three-time GATORADE Call-Up, shared MVP honors as the Red Team defeated the Blue Team, 113-103 in the 2009 NBA D-League All-Star Game which was played this afternoon on Center Court at NBA Jam Session presented by adidas.
Sims, a center on assignment from Phoenix with the Iowa Energy, tallied 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Red squad, which trailed 51-43 at the half. Ahearn, the third-leading scorer in the NBA D-League playing for the Dakota Wizards, scored 13 points and dished out 13 assists, while only committing two turnovers.
Both players went undrafted in 2007 before catching on briefly with NBA teams during the 2007-08 season. Sims appeared in three games with the Indiana Pacers while Ahearn signed two 10-day contracts with the Miami Heat. Ahearn also earned a Call-Up to the Spurs earlier this season.
“My dream, since I was a little kid, has been to play in the NBA and I’m going to follow it right now,” said Sims. “I think I’m pretty close, and I just need to stick with it and hopefully I’ll stay there a long time.”
Ahearn, who is averaging 6.0 assists this season, took home the NBA D-League’s Three-Point Shoot-Out Championship last night at the NBA D-League’s second annual Dream Factory Friday Night skills competition.
“The way I play is if somebody is open, I am going to pass them the ball,” said Ahearn. “At the All-Star game there are a lot of people trying to score and all that. I think we moved the ball pretty well and I think it shows that we were able to put up good points today and everybody got shots, so it went well.”
Bakersfield’s Derrick Byars added 18 points for the Red Team, while his teammate Trey Johnson, who just earned a GATORADE Call-Up to the Cleveland Cavaliers, finished with 15 points, four assists and four rebounds in the win.
Reno’s Antonio Meeking paced the Blue Team with 17 points, while Fort Wayne’s Walker Russell added 14 points and eight assists. Former NBA player Ronald Dupree of the Utah Flash finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.