Per ESPN's Jeff Goodman, Georgetown center Josh Smith has been nominated for the Kareem Abdul Jabbar award, an award which I can only assume (since google doesn't seem to acknowledge it) goes to the nation's top center.
15 Finalists for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award: Okafor, Kaminsky, Cauley-Stein, Portis, Rakeem Christmas, Jarell Martin, Josh Smith (cont'd)— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) February 16, 2015
Rest of finalists: Josh Scott, Alan Williams, Kennedy Meeks, Brad Waldow, Stefan Nastic, Jakob Poeltl, Damian Jones, Daniel Ochefu.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) February 16, 2015
Joshua Smith Selected to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Watch List
WASHINGTON - Georgetown University senior Joshua Smith (Kent, Wash./Kentwood/UCLA) was among 15 men's basketball players selected to the watch list for the 2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.
Named after Hall of Fame after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the honor in its inaugural year recognizes the top centers in men's college basketball. The watch list of 15 candidates was determined by a national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel.
"For many years the Basketball Hall of Fame has recognized the top collegiate point guards in the nation with the Bob Cousy Award. We are excited to expand upon these awards by now recognizing the top players at each position," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. "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."
Smith is second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.3 points per game (18th in the BIG EAST), and leads the team in rebounding with 6.3 per game (eighth in the league). Smith also ranks first in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage, connecting on 64.3 percent of his shots from the field.
He has scored in double figures 16 times this season and has five double-doubles.
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. "The fifteen athletes on this list represent the most dedicated, determined and skillful centers in college basketball today and I wish them well as they head into March."
By early March, the current list of 15 finalists for the 2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be narrowed down to five players. The final five players in contention for the award will be presented to Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame's selection committee. The winner of the 2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented at ESPN's new College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy's from Club Nokia in Los Angeles, Calif. on Friday, April 10, 2015. The Awards will be televised live on ESPN2 at 8:00pm EST.
Congrats to Josh!