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Great Lakes' Butler named CBA Rookie of the Year

March 16, 2005 - Continental Basketball Association 1 (CBA 1) News Release

Boise, ID (March 16, 2005) — The Continental Basketball Association announced today that Great Lakes Storm center Jackie Butler was named the 2004-05 Rookie of the Year, as voted on by CBA head coaches. The award marks the first 2004-05 CBA postseason honor for Butler, and the second for the Storm (Coach of the Year).

“Jackie meant a lot to the team because our opponents had to focus on him so much that it allowed his teammates to find openings for easy baskets,” stated Storm Head Coach Russ Bergman, whose team is currently up 1-0 over the Rockford Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals. “Despite the constant double teams, he was still among the league leaders in double-doubles. Fortunately for him his outstanding play on the court was rewarded by his call-up to the Knicks.”

Butler, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound center out of Coastal Christian Academy (Va.) High School averaged 18.7 points (14th in the league), 10.7 rebounds (3rd), and 1.5 blocked shots (5th) per contest in 41 games (40 started) for the Storm. He also added 1.7 assists per game, while shooting 51.0 percent (300 of 588) from the floor, and 71.5 percent (138 of 193) from the free-throw line. He tied a CBA season-high mark of 23 rebounds against the Yakima Sun Kings on January 2, and his 439 total rebounds set a single-season franchise rebounding record previously held by Anthony Bonner (340 total, 2003-04).

As the fourth-round draft selection (28th overall) of the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Butler finished 4th in the league in double-doubles with 23, including posting double figures in points and rebounds in seven of his final eight CBA games. He was the CBA’s 10th CBA-to-NBA call-up of the 2004-05 season when he signed with the New York Knicks for the remainder of the season on February 28.

To be eligible for Rookie of the Year, players must have played in 24 (1/2 of the 48 game schedule) games, must be in good standing with the CBA, and must have been eligible for the 2004 CBA College Draft. Coaches could not vote for their own players.

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