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Naismith Hall of Fame | October 18, 2019

College basketball awards: 20 centers named to 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award preseason watch list

Andy Katz breaks down his favorites for the 2019-20 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award

Springfield, Mass. — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the 20 watch list members for the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. Named after Class of 1995 Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its sixth year recognizes the top centers in men’s college basketball.  A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.

“The final Men’s Starting Five watch list we are revealing is that of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Mr. Abdul-Jabbar is unparalleled when it comes to his accomplishments at both the collegiate and professional level. As an advocate for education and character, he brings an important perspective when evaluating talent and we greatly value his input.”

WATCH LISTS: Bob Cousy Award | Jerry West Award | Julius Erving | Karl Malone

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played for legendary coach and Hall of Famer John Wooden at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1966-1969. He is a three-time NCAA Champion who earned numerous accolades including three-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player, three-time National College Player of the Year and three-time Consensus First-Team All-American (1967-1969). As a professional, Abdul-Jabbar is a six-time NBA Champion, six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, two-time NBA Finals MVP, 19-time NBA All-Star and the league’s all-time leading scorer.

New to the award this season is Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award will be narrowed down to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 10, 2020, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five.

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 Julius Erving Small Forward Award and the Karl Malone Power Forward Award, in addition to the Women’s Starting Five. Broadcast information will be released by ESPN at a later date.

Previous winners of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award include Ethan Happ, Wisconsin (2019), Angel Delgado, Seton Hall (2018), Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga (2017), Jakob Poeltl, Utah (2016) and Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (2015).

Your 2020 candidates:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award

Player School
Chase Jeter Arizona
Nico Carvacho Colorado State
Vernon Carey Jr. Duke
Kerry Blackshear Florida
Omer Yurtseven Georgetown
Luka Garza Iowa
Udoka Azubuike Kansas
Steven Enoch Louisville
James Wiseman Memphis
Jon Teske Michigan
Jeremiah Tilmon Missouri
Armando Bacot North Carolina
Nate Watson Providence
Matt Haarms Purdue
Nick Rakocevic USC
Neemias Queta Utah State
Isaiah Stewart Washington
Derek Culver West Virginia
Charles Bassey Western Kentucky
Nathan Knight William & Mary

*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2019-20 season*

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