Kentucky Wildcats forward Oscar Tshiebwe has been named a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, which honors the nation’s best center. Kentucky has never had a winner of the award, which has been around since 2015.
Through games on February 2nd, Tshiebwe leads the country in rebounds per game (15.2), offensive rebounds per game (5.1), and defensive rebounding percentage (37.1%). He also leads the Wildcats in scoring (16.1), steals (1.8), blocks (1.5) and field-goal percentage (61.0%), making him easily one of, if not the most valuable player in college basketball this season.
Tshiebwe is looking to become the first Division I player to average at least 15.0 points per game and at least 15.0 rebounds per game since Drake’s Lewis Lloyd and Alcorn State’s Larry Smith each did during the 1979-80 season.
The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award is in its eighth year and is given in honor of Abdul-Jabbar, who was a three-time National Player of the Year at UCLA. Fans are encouraged to go here to participate in the fan voting portion of the three rounds.
In late February, the watch list of 10 players will be narrowed down to five. In March those finalists will be presented to Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee, where a winner will be selected.