SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the 20 watch list members for the 2019 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. Named after Class of 1993 Hall of Famer and 16-year professional basketball player Julius Erving, the annual honor in its fifth year recognizes the top small forwards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprising top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
“Julius Erving is well-known for his flare and competitive spirit which have made him one of the most admired and respected in the game across all generations,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “It is an honor to have his continued involvement in the Naismith Starting 5 and we look forward to recognizing the young man who most closely mirrors the passion and athleticism of Dr. J this season.”
Julius Erving attended the University of Massachusetts and averaged 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds per game, making him one of only six NCAA men’s basketball players to average more than 20 points and 20 rebounds per game. After two seasons, Erving made the jump to the American Basketball Association and was the league’s most recognizable player when it merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976. During his professional career, Erving won three championships, four most valuable player awards and three scoring titles. In 1996, he was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2019 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Erving and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2019 Julius Erving Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 12, 2019, along with the other four members of the Naismith Starting 5. Additional awards being presented and receiving support from Eaton Ephesus Lighting include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Karl Malone Power Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award. Broadcast information will be released by ESPN at a later date.
Previous winners of the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award include Mikal Bridges, Villanova (2018), Josh Hart, Villanova (2017), Denzel Valentine, Michigan State (2016) and Stanley Johnson, Arizona (2015).
Here are the candidates named to the preseason watch list:
|Elijah Minnie||Eastern Michigan|
|Nassir Little||North Carolina|
|Tres Tinkle||Oregon State|
|Lamar Stevens||Penn State|
|Jaylen Hoard||Wake Forest|
|Robert Franks Jr.||Washington State|