Several BiG Ten Athletes Named
Garza Named to Kareem Abdul Jabbar Award Watch List
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa men’s basketball All-American Luka Garza is one of 20 players nationally to be named to the 2021 Kareem Abdul Jabbar Award Watch List.
The Hawkeye senior was the recipient of the award in 2020 and is seeking to become the first player to win in back-to-back seasons since the award was introduced in 2015.
Named after three-time NCAA Champion, three-time NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, and three-time National Player of the Year Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its sixth year recognizes the top center in Division I men’s college basketball.
Garza (6-foot-11, 265 pounds) was a dominant force in 2019-20, earning National Player of the Year (six national media outlets) and Big Ten Player of the Year distinction, along with earning consensus first-team All-America laurels. Garza (740 points and 305 rebounds) was one of three Big Ten players to ever to total 740+ points and 300+ rebounds in a single season. He ranked second nationally with 12 20-point/10-rebound performances, 20-point games (25); third in total field goals made (287), fifth in scoring (23.9), 10th in 30-point games (5), 19th in double-doubles (15) and offensive rebounds per game (3.58), and 34th in rebounding (9.8). His 15 double-doubles are third most in a single-season by a Hawkeye in three decades and the most since 2002. Garza averaged 26.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in 12 games against AP ranked opponents in 2019-20, including recording 11 straight 20-point performances, the longest streak by any player since UConn’s Kemba Walker in 2011.
The native of Washington, D.C., finished the 20-game conference schedule averaging 26.2 points per game, becoming the first player to average at least 26 points in Big Ten play since Purdue’s Glenn Robinson in 1994 (31.1 ppg). Garza scored a school-record 740 points in 2019-20, breaking the program’s 50-year old record previously set by John Johnson in 1970. He scored 20 points or more in a school-record 16 straight Big Ten games, the longest streak by any player in the Big Ten since Ohio State’s Dennis Hopson 16 in 1987.
Three of the six previous winners of this prestigious award has come from a Big Ten school: Iowa’s Luka Garza (2020), and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ (2019) and Frank Kaminsky (2016).
The list will be narrowed down to 10 in mid-February and then five finalists will be selected in March that will be presented to Kareem Abdul Jabbar and the selection committee. The winner of this award will be presented on Friday, April 9, 2021.
MADISON, Wis. – Micah Potter proved his value from the moment he joined the Badgers active roster last season. Now heading into his first full season at Wisconsin, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is taking notice, naming the senior a candidate for the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award on Friday.
Potter is one of 20 watch list candidates, and one of five from the Big Ten, for the nation’s best center. The Mentor, Ohio native is Wisconsin’s third candidate for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award and first since Ethan Happ in 2019.
In the six-year history of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, two Badgers have taken home the honor, most recently Ethan Happ in 2019 and Frank Kaminsky in 2015 as the inaugural winner.
When the time came for Potter to suit up for the Badgers, the Ohio State transfer was ready. Emerging as one of the most valuable reserves during Big Ten play last season, Potter averaged 10.9 points, 6.9 rebounds while shooting 54.2 percent (46.9% 3FG) in just 18.9 minutes per game.
In fact, Potter put together one of Wisconsin’s better seasons from an efficiency standpoint in the past 25 years. Per 40 minutes of action, he averaged 22.8 points and 14.1 rebounds per game. That trailed only Alando Tucker (24.3 ppg/40), Ethan Happ (23.2 ppg/40) and Sean Mason (23.0 ppg/40) for UW since 1996-97.
In late January, the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award watch list of 20 players will be narrowed down to just 10. In late February, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented April 9, 2021.
Previous winners of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award include Luka Garza, Iowa (2020), Ethan Happ, Wisconsin (2019), Angel Delgado, Seton Hall (2018), Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga (2017), Jakob Poeltl, Utah (2016) and Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (2015).
2021 KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR AWARD CANDIDATES
Matt Haarms – BYU
Mark Williams – Duke
Kofi Cockburn – Illinois
Luka Garza – Iowa
Olivier Sarr – Kentucky
Ahsan Asadullah – Lipscomb
Cameron Krutwig – Loyola Chicago
Mousa Cisse – Memphis
Liam Robbins – Minnesota
Armando Bacot – North Carolina
Walker Kessler – North Carolina
Trevion Williams – Purdue
Grant Golden – Richmond
Evan Mobley – USC
Neemias Queta – Utah State
Jay Huff – Virginia
Derek Culver – West Virginia
Charles Bassey – Western Kentucky
Micah Potter – Wisconsin
Loudon Love – Wright State
Williams Tabbed to Abdul-Jabbar Award Watch List
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today that Trevion Williams was named to the watch list for the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. The list comprises 20 players in the running to be named college basketball’s top center.
Williams is one of five Big Ten players to be named to the watch list, joining Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn, Iowa’s Luka Garza, Minnesota’s Liam Robbins and Wisconsin’s Micah Potter on the list.
Williams was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection a year ago after averaging 11.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in just 21.4 minutes per game. He was the only player in America to average 11.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in under 22.0 minutes per contest. In a January loss to Michigan a year ago, Williams posted 36 points and 20 rebounds, the nation’s lone 30-20 game last season.
It marks the second straight year that Williams has been named to a positional watch list after he was on the preseason Malone Award watch list last year.