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Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame | October 29, 2022

Basketball Hall of Fame names 20 centers to 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award watch list

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Springfield, Mass. (Oct. 28, 2022) — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the 20 watch-list members for the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. Named after Class of 1995 Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its ninth year recognizes the top center in men’s college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.

"Rounding out the Men’s Starting Five Watch List is the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. The student-athletes on this list should feel tremendously proud of all they have accomplished to be associated with basketball’s all-time leading scorer," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. "With his focus on both education and athletics, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s perspective is cherished by our committee when evaluating talent each year."

2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Candidates*
Athlete School
Charles Bediako Alabama
Oumar Ballo Arizona
PJ Hall Clemson
Ryan Kalkbrenner Creighton
Dereck Lively II Duke
Colin Castleton Florida
Osun Osunniyi Iowa State
Oscar Tshiebwe Kentucky
Hunter Dickinson Michigan
Armando Bacot North Carolina
Moussa Cissé Oklahoma State
Kel'el Ware Oregon
Zach Edey Purdue
Clifford Omoruyi Rutgers
Fardaws Aimaq Texas Tech
Adem Bona UCLA
Adama Sanogo UConn
Branden Carlson Utah
Jamarion Sharp Western Kentucky
Jack Nunge Xavier

*Players can play their way onto and off the list at any point in the 2022-2023 season*

Fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting, presented by Dell Technologies, in each of the three rounds starting today. In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be narrowed to 10 and then in late February to just five. In March the five finalists will be presented to Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee where a winner will be selected. 

The winner of the 2023 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 Award (Point Guard), Jerry West Award (Shooting Guard), Julius Erving Award (Small Forward) and the Karl Malone Award (Power Forward), in addition to the Women’s Starting Five.

RELATED: 20 shooting guards named to 2023 Jerry West Award watch list

Previous winners of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award are Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky (2022), 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).

For more information on the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award and the latest updates, visit and follow @hoophall and #KareemAward on Twitter and Instagram.

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