Bassey tabbed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Top Five Finalist

Junior Charles Bassey pointing to a teammate on Jan. 9, 2021 when WKU played LA Tech. The Hilltoppers lost 63-58 to the Bulldogs to split the weekend series.

Nick Kieser

WKU’s junior big man Charles Bassey has been named a top-five finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award as it was announced Friday.

Named after the Class of 1995 Hall of Famer, Pac-12 Player of the Century and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its seventh year recognizes the top centers in men’s college basketball and is a part of the Naismith Starting Five.

The five finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. 

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The winner of the award will be named on April 9 along with the other four members nominated. 

The finalists include: 

Kofi Cockburn, Illinois

Luka Garza, Iowa

Trevion Williams, Purdue

Evan Mobley, USC

As of Friday, Bassey ranked third in the nation in blocks per game, fourth in double-doubles, fifth in defensive rebounds per game, sixth in rebounds per game and seventh in total blocks.

The junior is averaging 17.5 points with 11.5 boards and three blocks per contest. He’s shooting 60.5% from the field including a 33.3% mark from beyond the arc.

Bassey is one of just two players in the country with multiple games this season of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, and the only player with three such games.

Fans may vote for Bassey at http://goto.ps/CBKareem2020

Sports Editor Nick Kieser can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Nick on Twitter at @KieserNick.