Tigers Precious Achiuwa named to Julius Erving Award watch list


Precious Achiuwa competes in the dunk contest during the 2019 Powerade Jam Fest on March 25, 2019 in Marietta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for Powerade)

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — University of Memphis freshman Precious Achiuwa is one of 20 members on the watch list for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award as announced Wednesday by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Achiuwa is a 6-9 forward from the Bronx, New York and a member of the UofM’s 2019 recruiting class, considered the nation’s best.

The award is named after Class of 1993 Hall of Famer and 16-year professional basketball player Julius Erving. The annual honor is in its sixth year and recognizes the top small forwards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.

“The Starting Five represents our five positional awards that bring together the best in college game today and the Hall of Famers who have paved the way, such as Julius Erving” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Our selection committee has put together an outstanding watch list with talent from across the country, which should inspire fans from coast-to-coast to get involved and vote for their favorite athletes. We’re excited to watch this season unfold!”

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.

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 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Erving and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2020 Julius Erving Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles on April 10, 2020, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five.

Previous winners of the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award include 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 on the 2020 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, October 18.

2020 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award Candidates*
Josh Green, Arizona
Matthew Hurt, Duke
Scottie Lewis, Florida
Corey Kispert, Gonzaga
Seth Towns, Harvard
Xavier Sneed, Kansas State
Kahlil Whitney, Kentucky
Jordan Nwora, Louisville
Precious Achiuwa, Memphis
Tres Tinkle, Oregon St.
Alpha Diallo, Providence
Nojel Eastern, Purdue
LJ Figueroa, St. John’s
Elijah Hughes, Syracuse
Chris Clarke, Texas Tech
Anthony Lamb, Vermont
Saddiq Bey, Villanova
Jaden McDaniels, Washington
CJ Elleby, Washington State
Naji Marshall, Xavier

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