The G League announced that Shaquille Harrison of the Delaware Blue Coats has been awarded the 2021-22 Defensive Player of the Year award.
Ironically, this is an award that the Blue Coats have been tied to quite a bit. Harrison is the second Blue Coat in the past three years to win the award (Christ Koumadje, 2019). Braxton Key, who was with the Coats for the majority of their season before signing a two-way contract with the Pistons, was third in voting. Some other notable players that have won this award in the past include Golden State’s Gary Payton II (2021) and Toronto’s Chris Boucher (2019).
A large portion of the Blue Coats’ success this season was behind their team defense, which was led by Harrison and Key. Delaware led the league in team steals (11.8 per game), blocks (7 per game), and forced turnovers (20.4).
Harrison, who has played a large role for the Blue Coats, has put together a stellar defensive season. He ranked seventh in the G League in steals, averaging 1.9 per game, to go along with 17 blocks in 27 games. He’s averaging 12.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 6.3 assists on the season.
Harrison began this season on the Sixers’ training camp roster on an Exhibit-10 deal. His rights were acquired by Delaware after he was waived. He’s since signed two 10-day contracts with Brooklyn in December and an additional 10-day with Memphis (though he did not appear in a game with them).
The third-seeded Blue Coats play their second-round playoff game against the second seeded Motor City Cruise tonight at 8:30 PM EST on ESPNU. Tune in to watch the defensive-minded backcourt of Shaq Harrison and Jaden Springer in action!