Watch list named for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award

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Jahlil Okafor and Frank Kaminsky are two of 15 who will vie for the award. (USATSI)
Jahlil Okafor and Frank Kaminsky are two of 15 who will vie for the award. (USATSI)

The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award watch list was announced today, featuring 15 players vying for the honor.

Named after the legendary UCLA center — who in his college days went by his birth name of Lew Alcindor — the award will be bestowed upon the top player at the center position as judged by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The timeline for the award is that these 15 finalists will be reduced to a field of five by early March. The award will then be bestowed upon the winner on Friday April 10 at the NCAA’s college basketball award show.

The race for the award is shaping up to be yet another showdown between Jahlil Okafor and Frank Kaminsky, the two presumptive favorites for the National Player of the Year award. Okafor is currently averaging 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest, versus Kaminsky’s 17.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

Here is the full list of 15 finalists:

Bobby Portis, University of Arkansas

Alan Williams, University of California, Santa Barbara

Josh Scott, University of Colorado

Jahlil Okafor, Duke University

Joshua Smith, Georgetown University

Willie Cauley-Stein, University of Kentucky

Jarell Martin, Louisiana State University

Kennedy Meeks, University of North Carolina

Brad Waldow, Saint Mary’s College

Stefan Nastic, Stanford University

Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse University

Jakob Poeltl, University of Utah

Damian Jones, Vanderbilt University

Daniel Ochefu, Villanova University

Frank Kaminsky, University of Wisconsin

>> Want more college hoops? Top 25 (and one) | Bracketology

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