Gonzaga's Karnowski and WSU's Hawkinson named a Kareem Abdul-Jab - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga's Karnowski and WSU's Hawkinson named a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award finalist

Karnowski and Hawkinson Named a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Finalist Karnowski and Hawkinson Named a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Finalist

By Gonzaga Athletics

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski was named one of 10 finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Friday.

Named after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its third year recognizes the top centers in men's college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in October, which has now been narrowed to just 10.

Karnowski is averaging 12.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the No. 1/1 Zags (23-0, 11-0 West Coast Conference). He is third in the conference shooting 61.3 percent from the field. The redshirt senior is also adding a block per game. Karnowski tops the WCC with his 70.1 field goal percentage in conference play. In GU's win over BYU Thursday, he became the program's all-time leader in wins in a career with 123.

In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame's selection committee for the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. The winner of the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented at ESPN's College Basketball Awards, presented by Wendy's, live from The Novo by Microsoft in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 7, 2017. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.

Previous winners of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award include Jakob Poeltl, Utah (2016) and Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (2015). For more information on the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.
By WSU Athletics
SPRINGFIELD,Mass. - For the second-straight year, Washington State men's basketball senior Josh Hawkinson has been named one of 10-finalists for the 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced Friday.

Hawkinson is one of two Pac-12 student-athletes to be named a finalist, as he's joined by Thomas Welsh of UCLA.

Named after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its third year recognizes the top centers in men's college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in October, which has been narrowed to 10.

"Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is unquestionably one of the most accomplished centers of all-time," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. "His mindful and spirited approach to the game put him in a class of his own at both the collegiate and professional level and we appreciate his insights as we look to recognize the best centers in the game today."

This season Hawkinson is ranked in the top 10 in the Pac-12 in points per game, rebounds per game, and double-doubles, averaging 16.0 points and 9.8 rebounds a game while notching 11 double-doubles. He holds the school record for single-season double-doubles with 20 done both as a sophomore and junior. He currently ranks second on WSU's career list with 51 double-doubles, just two away from the school record.

Playing in his senior year, Hawkinson has 916 career rebounds, ranking third all-time for career rebounds at WSU. He holds the school record with 334 rebounds set as a sophomore and the third-spot on WSU's single-season list with 321 rebounds as a junior. Hawkinson is just 76 rebounds away from the WSU career rebounding record (992) and is just 84 boards away from becoming the 13th Pac-12 student-athlete to grab 1,000 rebounds in his career. 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played for legendary coach 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). Abdul-Jabbar is a six-time NBA Champion and a1995 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame's selection committee for the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. The winner of the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented at ESPN's College Basketball Awards, presented by Wendy's, live from The Novo by Microsoft in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 7, 2017. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.

Previous winners of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award include Jakob Poeltl, Utah (2016) and Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (2015). For more information on the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.

2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Finalists
Eric Mika, Brigham Young University
Taco Fall, Central Florida
Justin Patton, Creighton
Yante Maten, Georgia
Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga
Tim Kempton, Lehigh
Jock Landale, Saint Mary's
Thomas Welsh, UCLA
Josh Hawkinson, Washington State
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
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