Springfield, Mass. — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the five finalists for the 2021 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 seventh year recognizes the top small forwards in Division I men’s college basketball.
The five finalists for the 2021 Julius Erving Award are Corey Kispert (Gonzaga), Isaiah Livers (Michigan), Ron Harper Jr. (Rutgers), Terrence Shannon, Jr. (Texas Tech) and Sam Hauser (Virginia).
“Congratulations to the five student athletes considered as finalists for the Erving Award during a season that has been a tremendous challenge for all,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “These young men have undoubtedly exhibited their abilities to takeover games, similar to the play of Dr. J, and we’re pleased to acknowledge them while honoring Hall of Famer Julius Erving.”
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A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 student-athletes in November, which was narrowed to 10 candidates in January and now just five finalists. This month, the finalists will be presented to Mr. Erving and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2021 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Naismith Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, February 26 here on the hoops hall awards website.
“Selecting our winner for this year’s award will take great attention and research down the homestretch of the season,” said Julius Erving, Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 1993. “The committee members and I are certainly excited to watch them play and we hope the fans will join us in voting to make their opinions heard.”
The winner of the 2021 Julius Erving Award will be presented on ESPN, along with the other four members of the Naismith Starting Five. Additional awards being presented 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, in addition to the Women’s Starting Five. Additional information about the award presentation, including date and time, will be released in the coming weeks.
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Previous winners of the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award include Saddiq Bey, Villanova (2020), Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga (2019), Mikal Bridges, Villanova (2018), Josh Hart, Villanova (2017), Denzel Valentine, Michigan State (2016) and Stanley Johnson, Arizona (2015).
For more information and the latest updates on the 2021 Julius Erving Award, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #ErvingAward on Twitter and Instagram.
About Julius Erving
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.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit www.hoophall.com, follow @hoophall or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.