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Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame | October 22, 2021

20 centers named to 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award watch list

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Springfield, Mass. (Oct. 22, 2021) — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the 20 watch list members for the 2022 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 eighth 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.

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“Rounding out the Men’s Starting Five watch list is 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 one of the most accomplished and decorated athletes of all time, so it is truly fitting to have his name associated with such a prestigious award. As a strong advocate for education and character, he brings a significant and meaningful perspective when evaluating talent and we truly cherish his involvement.”

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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. In 2021 The NBA created the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award, which honors players who are making strides in the fight for social justice.

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College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award will be narrowed to 10 and then in late February to just 5. In March the five finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee where a winner will be selected. 

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The winner of the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented on a to be determined date, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, 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.

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Previous winners of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award include two-time winner Luka Garza, Iowa (2020-21), Ethan Happ, Wisconsin (2019), Angel Delgado, Seton Hall (2018), Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga (2017), Jakob Poeltl, Utah (2016) and Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (2015).

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For more information on the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award and the latest updates, log onto and follow @hoophall and #KareemAward on Twitter and Instagram. 

Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on today, October 22.

2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Candidates* 


Walker Kessler


Nick Muszynski


Mark Williams


Colin Castleton


Chet Holmgren


Kofi Cockburn


David McCormack


Oscar Tshiebwe


Ahsan Asadullah


Qudus Wahab


Jalen Duren


Hunter Dickinson


Armando Bacot

North Carolina

Moussa Cisse

Oklahoma State

Nate Watson


Zach Edey


Osun Osunniyi

St. Bonaventure

Myles Johnson


Fardaws Aimaq

Utah Valley

Liam Robbins


*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2021-2022 season*

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