The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced Duke sophomore Mark Williams as one of 10 watch list members for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.
Named after Class of 1995 Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its eighth year recognizes the top centers in men’s college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in November, which has now been narrowed to 10.
Williams has established himself as a strong presence on the interior this season, as the 7-foot-1 big man ranks 11th nationally and leads the ACC with 3.19 blocks per game. He has 18 games with multiple blocks – the second-most in the NCAA – and has swatted 32 shots over his last nine contests. The Virginia Beach, Va., native is also averaging 10.0 points on .689 field goal shooting in his sophomore campaign.
Over his last six outings, Williams is registering 13.3 points, 9.0 boards and 3.3 blocks while shooting .756 from the floor and .800 at the free throw line. A finalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, he is the ACC’s only player ranked in the top five in blocks (3.4, first) and rebounds (8.5, fourth) in conference games.
Williams has five double-doubles on the season, including three in the last six games, and he has thrown down 49 of Duke’s 100 dunks.
College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In late February, the watch list of 10 players for the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award will be narrowed to 5. In March those finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the award will be announced on a to-be-determined date, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five.
For more information on the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #KareemAward on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, February 4.