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Culver Named to Abdul-Jabbar Watchlist

Springfield, Mass. (Nov. 6, 2020) — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the 20 watch list members for the 2021 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 seventh 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.

“The final Men’s Starting Five watch list we are revealing is that of 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 unparalleled when it comes to his accomplishments at both the collegiate and professional level. As a strong advocate for education and character, he brings a significant perspective when evaluating talent and we greatly value his involvement.” 

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.

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 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award will be narrowed down to just 10. In late February, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. 

The winner of the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented onFriday, April 9, 2021, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the 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. 

Previous winners of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award include Luka Garza, Iowa (2020), 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 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 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 today, November 6.

2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Candidates*

Matt HaarmsBYU
Mark WilliamsDuke
Kofi CockburnIllinois
Luka GarzaIowa
Olivier SarrKentucky
Ahsan AsadullahLipscomb
Cameron KrutwigLoyola Chicago
Mousa CisseMemphis
Liam RobbinsMinnesota
Armando BacotNorth Carolina
Walker KesslerNorth Carolina
Trevion WilliamsPurdue
Grant GoldenRichmond
Evan MobleyUSC
Neemias QuetaUtah State
Jay HuffVirginia
Derek CulverWest Virginia
Charles BasseyWestern Kentucky
Micah PotterWisconsin
Loudon LoveWright State
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