SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – University of Memphis freshman center James Wiseman is one of 20 centers on the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award as announced Friday by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Earlier this week, Wiseman was selected as the American Athletic Conference Preseason Rookie of the Year in voting conducted by the league’s head coaches. He was the nation’s top-ranked recruit last season after a stellar career at Memphis East High.
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.
“Mr. Abdul-Jabbar is unparalleled when it comes to his accomplishments at both the collegiate and professional level,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. As an advocate for education and character, he brings an important perspective when evaluating talent and we greatly value his input.”
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.
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).
For more information on the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #KareemAward on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, October 18