In the preseason, William & Mary men’s basketball junior Nathan Knight’s list of honors continues to grow, and his profile nationally grows.
Knight was selected to the 21-player watch list for the 2019 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced.
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.
The Syracuse, New York native was named one of the top 10 Mid-Major players in the country by NBCSports.com as a preseason Mid-Major All-American in September.
Knight was a Mid-Major All-American pick last season after averaging 18.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 blocked shots per game in 2017-18.
He was named to the All-CAA and NABC All-District Second Team as a sophomore. Knight finished the year shooting 57.8 percent from the field, which ranked fifth in the CAA and 31st nationally, and 76.9 percent from the free throw line. He ranked fifth in the CAA in scoring, seventh in rebounding and second in blocked shots. He recorded nine double-doubles on the year, including a trio of the 30-point, 10-rebound double-doubles.
Abdul-Jabbar played for legendary coach and Hall of Famer John Wooden at the University of California, Los Angeles 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 (1967-1969).
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.
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 Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles on April 12, along with the other four members of the Naismith Starting 5.
Additional awards being presented and receiving support from Eaton Ephesus Lighting include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award and the Karl Malone Power Forward Award. Broadcast information will be released by ESPN at a later date.
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, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #KareemAward on Twitter and Instagram.