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Omer Yurtseven Named to Abdul-Jabbar Watch List

Y7 makes a splash as a preseason top-20 center in the nation—be sure to vote for him!

Big East Basketball Media Day Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Georgetown Hoyas’ big man, Omer Yurtseven, is one of 20 centers named to the Watch List for the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award going to the best center in the NCAA.

Andy Katz took a look at several candidates, including Yurtseven (2:41), over the summer.

Last year, Jessie Govan was named to the preseason top-20 list and made it to the final five at the end of the season, along with Bruno Fernando of Maryland, Charles Bassey of Western Kentucky, Nathan Knight of William & Mary, and the eventual winner, Ethan Happ of Wisconsin.

This year there is a fan voting aspect to the selection, so be sure to vote for Omer Yurtseven if you think he fits the criteria.

Previous winners of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award include Angel Delgado, Seton Hall (2018), Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga (2017), Jakob Poeltl, Utah (2016) and Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (2015).

Press Release

Yurtseven Selected to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Preseason Watch List

WASHINGTON – Georgetown University center Omer Yurtseven is among 20 men’s basketball players selected to the watch list for the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. Named after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor is in its sixth year of recognizing the top centers in men’s college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates, as announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. OMER YURTSEVEN, KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR CENTER OF THE YEAR PRESEASON WATCH LIST

  • Yurtseven is entering his first season in a Hoya uniform after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.
  • In his sophomore season at NC State, Yurtseven averaged 13.5 ppg and 6.7 rpg while starting in 32 of 33 games.
  • He scored a career-high 29 points against Clemson on Jan. 11, 2018 and reached double figures in 14 of 18 ACC games.
  • Yurtseven was a consensus five-star prospect and the No. 3 center prospect in the 2016 recruiting class.
  • Yurtseven is joined by Providence’s Nate Watson as the representatives from the BIG EAST Conference on the watch list.
  • Yurtseven is the third Hoya in the six years of the award’s existence to land on the watch list.


  • The award is named after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played for legendary coach and Hall of Famer John Wooden at the UCLA 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award will be narrowed down to just 10.
  • In March, five finalists will be presented to Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.
  • The winner of the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, California on Friday, April 10, 2020, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five.

The Hoyas open the season on Wednesday, November 6 when Georgetown welcomes Mount St. Mary’s to Capital One Arena for a 7 p.m. matchup. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network. The squad returns four of its five starters from a season ago and has nine returners in addition to seven newcomers.

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