The next category in this years Chicago's Finest Awards is the Rookie of the Year award. Given to the best rookie this past season. 2010-11 brought us alot of prospective talent from D.J. Moore to Omer Asik. So no matter who comes out on top of this category, let's all enjoy many more season's (barring trades) to come!
Remember your vote will be considered in the judging of each category!
Here are your nominee's for Rookie of the Year:
Omer Asik - Chicago Bulls - Center
Despite playing four seasons professionally in Turkey, Bulls center Omer Asik was able to avoid the tradition of rookie hazing, primarily due to his prior pro experience and his hard nosed approach to playing the 5 spot.
Omer wasn't necessarily a dominant force for the Bulls throughout the entire season, but in his first season as an American professional most Bulls fans will tell you will got every ounce of value from Asik with every second he spent on the court.
Whether it was a Statuesque Shaq dunk or a pivotal, momentum shifting block, Omer played to the highest degree. Using his height, length and physicality to stop opposition in Tom Thibideau's grueling symphony of defense. Omer not only impressed fan's, but also the teams biggest critic, their coach. When asked to asses the center's season Thibs' praised the 27yr old.
‘‘It was great, he’s got that quiet confidence. He’s very smart. He’s got a great work ethic.
And that is about as good of praise as any Bull can get from anybody.
Courtney Vandersloot - Chicago Sky - Point Guard
Courtney Vandersloot in many ways is a sign of change in the Windy City. Drafted in the first round this past offseason by the Chicago Sky, she is the only player in Division I NCAA athletics, male or female, to score over 2,000 points and have over 2,000 assists in her collegiate career playing at the University of Gonzaga. More to the fact is that she is apart of the wave of next generation WNBA players that should prove to be exciting for years to come.
Vandersloot has assumed the point guard role well this season, even above average for a WNBA rookie guard averaging 8.4ppg, 4.8apg, and playing a shade over 26 minutes per game. Courtney was also selected to participate in this year's WNBA All-Star Game. She scored 8pts, had two assists and three rebounds.
Courtney also currently leads the Sky in assists.
D.J. Moore - Chicago Bears - Cornerback
D.J. Moore played so well for the Chicago Bears this last season, I almost forgot he was a rookie. Moore stepped in for a Bear's secondary desperately in need for some production. Ranking at near the bottom of the league the year before, the Monsters of the Midway were in need of some energy and Moore brought it and some.
11 tackles and 2 interceptions during the regular season for Moore, but in the Tampa-2 style defense the Bears play, numbers don't matter as much as defensive stops and forced field goals or punts. And to that effect, Moore played flawlessly for the Bears.
Darwin Barney - Chicago Cubs - Second Base
Darwin Barney almost retired from baseball this year. Giving it one final shot as he was planning for a life in the family dental business, Barney majored in pre-dentistry until his third trimester at Oregon State University, when he discovered that a course load laden with calculus, organic chemistry and molecular biology was too demanding for him to play baseball to his maximum ability. So he switched to liberal studies and served as a driving force on two NCAA title teams for OSU.
Barney switched from shorstop to second base after college, a move that would prove beneficial as Darwin takes some of the pressure off fellow shorstop and young prodigy Starlin Castro.
Cubs manager Mike Quade put it best:
"I've used the word 'overachiever,"' Cubs manager Mike Quade said of Barney. "He's like the underdog's guy. But you know what? Maybe I'm dead wrong. Maybe he's not an overachiever. Maybe he's just good.
"Is he an above-average runner? No. Does he have an above-average arm? No. Does he hit the ball onto Sheffield Avenue? No. But he's just a good baseball player. Pete Rose was a guy who had that tag, and he was a pretty damned good player."
Barney 4th on the Cubs in runs scored (43,) 3rd in hits (97,) and tied for 3rd on the team with Aramis Ramirez in batting average (.299). The most intriguing part of Barneys numbers is that he has taken significantly less at bats than the rest of his teammates.