Former St. John’s basketball standout Justin Simon wins NBL Defensive Player of the Year
Earlier this week, former St. John’s basketball wing Justin Simon was awarded the 2020-21 Damian Martin Trophy Award as the Best Defensive Player in the NBL.
Simon currently plays for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia, helping them to a 20-16 record and a third-place finish in the regular season.
However, the Hawks’ season came to an end last week after they lost their best of three series to the Perth Wildcats in the NBL Playoff Semifinals.
The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 8.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and a league-leading 1.8 steals per game appearing in all 39 games this season for the Illawarra Hawks.
While the NBL may just been learning about Justin Simon’s defensive prowess, it comes as no surprise to Red Storm fans.
Former St. John’s basketball standout has been defensive stalwart his entire career
During his first season in Queens in 2017-18, Simon registered 82 steals which ranks sixth all-time in a single season in St. John’s history.
The California native followed up his impressive inaugural season by becoming just the third St. John’s player to win the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award in as a junior in the 2018-19 season.
Simon joined a list of Sir’ Dominic Pointer and Mark Jackson as the only Johnnies to win the award before freshman Posh Alexander brought the honor back to Queens this past season.
In his two seasons with the Red Storm, Justin Simon averaged 11.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game.
Simon also spent a season in the NBA G-League the Windy City Bulls, the Chicago Bulls affiliate, where he averaged 12.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game averaging 31 minutes.