SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Freshman Bol Bol was one of 20 players nationally named to the 2019 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award watch list by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.
Bol, from Olathe, Kan., was ranked as the nation’s No. 3 recruit and the top center among high school seniors in 2018. He was a five-star recruit with a scout grade of 95 according to ESPN. Bol was selected for the 2018 McDonald’s All-America game and the Jordan Brand Classic and was named a finalist for the Naismith national high school boys’ player of the year.
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 20 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 20 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 on April 12, 2019.
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).