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Jessie Govan named to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar watch list

The award is given to the top Center in college basketball

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Villanova Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Expectations are high for Georgetown Hoyas senior Jessie Govan heading into the fast-approaching season. Earlier today, the Naismith Memorial Baksetball Hall of Fame named him to a list of 21 candidates for the prestigious Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, which recognizes outstanding play at the center position.

The big man is entering his final season in blue & gray and second year under the watchful eye of Patrick Ewing—who knows a thing or two about playing the Center position—and the success of the team around him will depend heavily on his continued growth as a player. After averaging a double-double (17.9pt / 10reb / 76%FT in 33mpg) as a Junior and cutting down on his foul rate significantly as his college career has progressed, continuing such a trajectory would make him a dominant and dangerous force in the conference. Taking on a leadership role is something Govan seems to be embracing, a positive sign with a young but talented group rounding out the Hoyas’ roster.

From the NCAA release:

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the 21 watch list members for the 2019 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 fifth year recognizes the top centers in men’s college basketball. A national committee comprising top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 21 candidates.

“Rounding out our Naismith Starting 5 is an award in honor of a man whose talent and accolades are unparalleled,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar built a legacy at UCLA and continued his winning ways as a pro. We’re grateful for his involvement in our college positional awards and the time and thought he dedicates toward selecting a recipient come April.”


By mid-February, the watch list of 21 players for the 2019 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 2019 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 12, 2019, along with the other four members of the Naismith Starting 5.

Here’s hoping that the BIG EAST gets to claim this award for a second consecutive year, with Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado being named as the winner for the 2018 season.

Hoya Saxa and congratulations, Jessie!

18 days, people. Get ready.