WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Trevion Williams has been named one of five finalists for the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given to the nation’s top center, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today.
The list is dominated by Big Ten players as Williams joins Iowa’s Luka Garza, Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn, USC’s Evan Mobley and Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey on the list.
A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 student-athletes in November, which was narrowed to 10 candidates in January and now just five finalists. This month, the finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.
The winner of the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Naismith Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live today, February 26 on hoophallawards.com.
Entering tonight’s game at Penn State, Williams is averaging 16.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, while shooting 52.6 percent from the field in all games played. In league play only, the numbers improve to 17.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 53.8 percent shooting.
He ranks second in the league in double-doubles and 17th nationally with nine and he is on pace to become just the third player in the last 30 years to average at least 17 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2 assists per game in league play. His five 20-10 games are tied for third among all major-college players and he is 1-of-8 players in school history with two 30-10 games.
With this announcement, Purdue and Gonzaga are the only two schools to have three different players named as finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. Williams joins A.J. Hammons (2016) and Isaac Haas (2018) as players to be named finalists. He is looking to become Purdue’s second recipient of a positional award after Carsen Edwards won the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year in 2018.