National Basketball League of Canada

Mike Nuga Named NBLC Canadian Player of the Year

May 6, 2023 - National Basketball League of Canada (NBL Canada) News Release

Breakthrough performer Mike Nuga of the London Lightning, whose versatile skills helped lead the Bolts to the league's best record, has been named NBL Canada Canadian Player of the Year, league officials announced today.

"Mike is the real deal, exactly as advertised. He's everything - literally everything - you would want in a player," said Doug Plumb, Lightning head coach. "Here's a guy who's the hardest worker in the room, emotionally resilient, takes hard coaching. He's a winner by nature, altruistic. A super athlete. Self-aware. And wildly competitive. That's all wrapped up in who Mike Nuga is."

In 2023, Nuga netted double figures in 17 games, including a season-high 21 against the Windsor Express on Feb. 1. Appearing in all 30 games for the Bolts, including starting 10, the 6-foot-2 guard finished the year averaging 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game.

He was named NBL Canada Player of the Week for Feb. 5.

Plumb continued, "Mike Nuga is a worker, a grinder, a guy you know will get better every day."

Nuga played two seasons with Eastern Florida Junior College, where he led the squad to a national title game appearance as a freshman, followed by DI seasons at Portland State, Kent State, and UNLV. The Toronto-native finished his NCAA career averaging 10.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 23.0 minutes in 74 games.

"Durable, dynamic, and always impressive. That's Mike Nuga," said Audley Stephenson, NBLC Commissioner. "It didn't matter if he was coming off the bench or in the starting lineup, Mike rose to whatever role he was given, nabbed every chance he got. He is exactly what this league is about - showcasing young Canadian talent and giving them a platform to elevate themselves."

Nuga is the fourth member of Lightning to win the award, and the second straight, following Garrett Williamson in 2013-14, Warren Ward in 2015-16, and Terry Thomas in 2022. Previous winners of the NBL Canada Canadian Player of the Year Award include:

2011-12 | Joey Haywood, Halifax Rainmen

2012-13 | Joey Haywood, Halifax Rainmen

2013-14 | Garrett Williamson, London Lightning

2014-15 | Tyrone Watson, Halifax Rainmen

2015-16 | Warren Ward, London Lightning

2016-17 | Terry Thomas, PEI Island Storm

2017-18 | Carl English, St. John's Edge

2018-19 | Guillaume Boucard, PEI Island Storm

2019-20 | Alex Campbell, PEI Island Storm

2022 | Terry Thomas, London Lightning

All player award winners will receive their own customized championship plaque courtesy of long-time NBL Canada partner and playoff sponsor, Baron Championship Rings.

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