Twenty Candidates Announced for 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar


Basketball Hall of Fame

Top Collegiate Centers in the Nation Named to Watch List

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the 20 watch list members for the 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.  Named after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its second year recognizes the top centers in men’s college basketball.  A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.

“When it comes to collegiate centers, none have accomplished more than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and we are pleased to include him in this celebration of the best in the game today,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “The 20 athletes on this list represent the most dedicated, determined and skillful centers in college basketball today and we wish them well as they head into the 2015-16 season”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played for legendary coach 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).

“It’s truly an honor for this award to bear my name,” said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a 1995 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and six-time NBA Champion. “Last year’s finalists featured an elite class including Frank Kaminsky, Jahlil Okafor and Willie Cauley-Stein. We expect this year’s competition to be just as tough.”

By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2016 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 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s from Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 8, 2016. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.

Last season, Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin was named the inaugural winner of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. For more information on the 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, log onto


2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Candidates

  • Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona
  • Mamadou Ndiaye, UC Irvine
  • Josh Scott, Colorado
  • Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville
  • Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga
  • Thomas Bryant, Indiana
  • Jameel McKay, Iowa State
  • Cheick Diallo, Kansas
  • Skal Labissiere, Kentucky
  • Diamond Stone, Maryland
  • Stephen Zimmerman, UNLV
  • Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina
  • Zach Auguste, Notre Dame
  • AJ Hammons, Purdue
  • Jakob Poeltl, Utah
  • Damian Jones, Vanderbilt
  • Daniel Ochefu, Villanova
  • Josh Hawkinson, Washington State
  • Joel Bolomboy, Weber State
  • Devin Williams, West Virginia


About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.


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