WKU Hilltopper Basketball freshman center Charles Bassey has been named 1 of 10 candidates for the 2019 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, as announced Friday by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
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 in October, which has now been narrowed to just 10.
Bassey – a 6-foot-11, 245-pound native of Lagos, Nigeria – is averaging 14.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks this season while shooting 63.1 percent from the field.
He leads Conference USA in both rebounding and double-doubles (12). The big man is 1 of 2 freshmen in the country averaging a double-double.
Bassey ranks in the top 40 in the country in double-doubles, field-goal percentage, blocks per game, total blocks, rebounds per game, offensive rebounds per game, defensive rebounds per game and total rebounds.
He’s 1 of 2 freshmen on the list of candidates, along with UCLA’s Moses Brown.
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, Calif., on Friday, April 12, along with the other four members of the Naismith Starting 5.
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).
For more information and the latest updates on the 2019 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #KareemAward on Twitter and Instagram.
2019 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Candidates
Daniel Gafford, Arkansas
Nick Perkins, Buffalo
Nico Carvacho, Colorado St.
Jessie Govan, Georgetown
Bruno Fernando, Maryland
Nick Ward, Michigan St.
Moses Brown, UCLA
Charles Bassey, WKU
Nathan Knight, William & Mary
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
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WKU Athletic Communications/Media Relations